Cannes Lions

Public Record: Building True Connection Through a Visual Album of Fan Stories

FULLSCREEN BRANDWORKS, Los Angeles / AT&T / 2017

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

We partnered with influencer musicians Carissa and Michael Alvarado better known as “Us The Duo” to create an experimental album with the aim of pushing the boundaries of co-creation and connection. Titled, Public Record, the project started with an invitation to the audience to share their stories, from which Us The Duo selected five to write songs about, with the help of the audience and then release as a visual album. The songs that were created were a testimony of the kind of empathy that we can have when we connect with one another. One song was a love letter from a daughter to her mother who helped her escape an abusive father. Another celebrated a gay man finding home, friendship, and support within the Marine Corps. Still another was a love story of a girl’s grandparents who were so devoted and happy that they died within 35 hours.

Execution

It all started with Us The Duo explaining the project on their social channels and asking for fans to submit their stories. More than 900 fans opened up and sent us stories via the #PublicRecord on Twitter and Instagram, over DMs, and through a private Tumblr site. Though just five songs were selected, Us the Duo’s entire community was invited to co-create through social media. Fans aided in writing the lyrics, listened to early versions of the songs on Snapchat, and acted as group producers as the couple-live streamed from the studio via Facebook. Once the songs were recorded, we transformed them into music videos and surprised the fans whose stories were selected. The resulting visual EP was dropped on YouTube with a celebratory launch party held at the Grammy Museum.

Outcome

Public Record’s deep stories, great songs, and strong visuals made it so upon release. It was not looked as just “branded entertainment.” The Grammy Museum called it “stunning” and requested to host the EP’s launch. Fans swore they couldn’t stop listening to the songs on repeat and press praised the quality of the record. But the music didn’t just inspire praise, it truly created a community through connection. Utilizing social media to bring our fans together, we effectively created entertainment that behaved so much like a friend that fans trusted us with their secrets—sharing with us and the community their own true experiences on everything from domestic abuse to learning to love themselves. Throughout AT&T was celebrated as a partner, innovator, and true connector of people. Overall, Public Record surpassed KPIs with a total 290M impressions, 16.4M views, and 642K engagements.

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