During the 2016 Olympic Games, Digicel, the Caribbean’s largest telecoms provider, launched ‘Bring the Beat’ – an integrated campaign celebrating the unique rhythm of the Caribbean. While their competitor controlled the Olympic TV broadcast rights, we needed to create a digital first experience that could engage hearts and minds. Together with Soca legend, Machel Montano, we wrote, recorded and released the ‘Bring the Beat’ single in 33 markets across the Caribbean – an unofficial anthem for the Caribbean.
The single was a hit on radio stations and in clubs during the Games… and we gave it to the fans to remix and share. Remixes are huge in the region but can usually only be created with expensive equipment or software. The Digicel Remixer made it possible for anyone with access to a smartphone or a computer. Partnering with We Make Awesome Sh, we created a world’s first browser-based remixer that pushes the limits of HTML5 Audio APIs – making sure that all the music stays perfectly in sync, even on low performance devices. Users could loop and combine over 100 samples of the different beats and melodies recorded for the song including bonus lyrics from Usain Bolt, create their own remix and even download their own track as an mp3.
To ensure we were balancing complex functionality and ease of use, we created multiple clickable prototypes to test and refine the interaction model. These went through an iterative design process that resolved with the final web app. We even commissioned a musician to compose a number of “template” remixes that allowed users to jump straight into a mix without the intimidation of an empty timeline. We achieved incredible brand engagement with 97% of people who visited the remixer choosing to explore the site further, reaching an average session duration of ten minutes (that’s the same as Usain Bolt running the 100m sprint sixty times!). There were over 610,000 plays of original remixes made on the hub and the original track by Machel Montano had 100s of thousands of plays and downloads of the track across Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, SoundCloud, Tidal, radio and clubs. The beat flooded the Caribbean airwaves. The campaign site hosted the remixer and also featured remixes by popular local DJs and producers, the web film featuring Usain Bolt and aggregated social activity from Digicel and users across multiple platforms (Instagram and Twitter).
To ensure an authentic experience we used a combination of geolocation data and detectable browser preferences to tailor content and language to each user. An accompanying bespoke CMS was created to allow Digicel’s marketing managers in each territory to customise the copy and prioritise local social accounts. The Remixer inspired the Caribbean to use their mobile devices not just for consumption but for creation.