GOLDSTEIN MUSIC, London / ASDA / 2016
VCCP’s objective was to design and build a bespoke, heartbeat-driven app for the supermarket giant, Asda, that would enable people to send their loved ones a romantic track, driven by their actual heartbeat, on Valentine's Day.
The app prompts users to place their finger over the camera and flash. By using the light from the flash, the app detects unique colour changes in the skin, measuring the user's personal heartbeat, which is set to a track at the exact corresponding BPM (speed).
There were no visuals, no v/o and no storyboard, simply an emotional concept and an instruction to make it work across a vast range of tempos, on every laptop and handheld device currently in circulation.
In 72 hours, over 60,000 heartbeats were sent and, at its height, a heartbeat was being sent every 4 seconds. It became the second highest trending app after "Tidal" on Valentine’s Day.
In an era where mobile devices are often criticised for disconnecting people from family, friends and partners, Asda, through its creative agency VCCP, responded to this by releasing their "Send Your Heart" app to bring people together with an ingenious and heartfelt application of modern technology that had never been done before.
The first challenge was choosing the right heartbeat. Heartbeats mainly contain low frequencies, which is problematic for small handheld devices as they have very little low frequency response. It was necessary to find a heartbeat that would carry well across all devices. This entailed 'auditioning' different heartbeats in order to find the one with the best characteristics, then manipulating it until it was bullet-proof across every platform.
As the phone measures the user's heartbeat, the app selects the appropriate track at the user's corresponding BPM from a vast collection of pre-programmed variations, all the way from 40 to 200 BPM. The track had to be adapted across the entire tempo spectrum so that it retained integrity and sounded natural at all speeds (not just a simple case of speeding it up or slowing it down!).
The brief for the style of music was a dreamy ambient vibe, reminiscent of the ‘wall of vocals’ style of artists such as Godley and Creme and 10CC.