Alongside all the other cool elements of this campaign, the interactive TV ad was genuinely daring and innovative. Credit also to the Polydor team for playing with newer platforms like Snapchat to reach the right demographics.

Note, the text below was supplied by the team behind the campaign.



Team members involved

Maddy Smith – senior digital marketing
Olly Rice – marketing
Fiona McAluey / Lara Dowd – social managers, Weller Media Agency

Campaign breakdown

Budget: £25k+
Audience demographic: 65% female / 35% male, age 18-24, UK / Europe

Overview of campaign

As one of the most talked about new artists of 2015, Years & Years started the year with a number of key tips under their belt (Critics’ Choice shortlist, BBC Sound Of 2015 winners, Vevo DSCVR 2015 and many more). It was our job to capitalise on this and make sure they had a strong presence online, where their fanbase is most at home.

Their fanbase skews female, with the 13-17 and 18-24 age demographics dominating. A focus on social engagement and massive partner looks was our strategy, with the debut album, Communion, being released on the first New Music Friday; we also capitalised on this to own the conversation as the first meaningful release of this new era.

Our flagship digital look for the album launch was the live interactive advert broadcast on Channel 4 on the day of album release; #ShineTakeControl was a world first. Three alternative music videos were made for the current single ‘Shine’, viewers were given the chance to control which video they saw as the three-minute advert progressed by tweeting the three hashtags #ChooseDark #ChooseLight #ChooseShadow.

The ad was broadcast at 9pm during the Channel 4 Friday primetime schedule and saw some great results. The event trended globally, with 13.8k tweets during the three-minute ad slot, widespread partner support including iTunes, Vevo, Shazam and Twitter.

This was supplemented online with high-quality teasers leading up to the broadcast and an exclusive behindthe-scenes video from the making of the TV ad premiered with MTVs Snapchat channel and garnered just under 1m views in 24 hours.

The whole broadcast was also streamed directly in to a microsite where international fans could tune in. The video’s still live here for fans to view.

Results and key learnings

Communion #1 album for two weeks on release. 200k+ album sales to date and one of the breakthrough new British acts of 2015.

‘King’ #1 single, multi-platinum sales and one of the biggest singles of the year so far with ‘King’ the #10 most streamed track in UK (as of start of October)

‘King’ video on 115m+ views and 176m Spotify streams

Communion remained in the Top 10 UK album chart on Spotify until the end of November

Focus social on the fans and not sales messages. A picture of Olly in a straw hat is just as impactful on sales as a link to Spotify and iTunes

Importance of streaming in breaking new artists especially playlist inclusion and plugging

Links and extra info

Shine Take Control:
Remix generator:

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