Carly Rae Jepsen is one artist who has definitely benefitted from the power of YouTube – her recent single ‘Call Me Maybe’ was a global hit and has amassed a staggering 330million views since its release eight months ago. To capitalise on her huge presence on YouTube Universal Music Group have released an interactive Carly Rae Jepsen game on the video platform.

‘Carly’s Interactive Diner and Milk Bar’ is an 8 bit game that is set in Carlyville, not to be confused with Lady Gaga’s Gagaville collaboration with Zynga. Players control Carly Rae via YouTube annotations and this is definitely one of the best uses of this free feature that we have seen.

Users control her character by clicking on a controller that is at the right of the video – and which looks distinctively similar to a Nintendo Wii D-pad – taking Carly Rae through the different interactive stories. Users can get Carly Rae to interact with the Diner’s barman, play a selection of five Jepsen tracks via an interactive jukebox or visit an outdoor drive-thru to watch three official videos.

The drive-thru re-directs users to Jepsen’s VEVO account, which in theory is fine but the interactive game is currently free of advertising and when we were re-directed to VEVO the first thing we encountered was a 30 second non-skippable ad. This obviously isn’t an oversight from UMG and no huge problem but it does disrupt a fan’s gameplay that is otherwise is free-flowing.

We spoke to Deborah Hyacinth, VP of International Digital Marketing at UMG who said,

” We wanted to create something special for Carly’s fans to celebrate the release of her debut album and new video ‘This Kiss’. She’s the perfect pop artist to promote in this way as everything in Carlyville is designed to allow her global fan base to discover her music in an interactive and fun way.
We’re continuing to experiment and push the boundaries of what’s possible on our partners’ sites like Youtube I.e the Abba video timeline we previously created. It’s exciting to be able to innovate in creative ways for our artists and go beyond what many of these platforms were traditionally designed to do.”

One really cool part of the video is the interactive jukebox – the audio is hosted within the game and a vinyl track spins in the background in all its 8 bit glory. It reminds us of other customisable players that we’ve seen such as the Foo Fighters cassette player used to promote their recent headline show at Reading Festival.