Cannes Lions

THE LES PAUL SKILL CHECK

SERVICEPLAN, Munchen / GIBSON GUITAR / 2015

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

CAMPAIGN:

Epiphone by Gibson is a leading manufacturer of premium guitars, famously known for their Les Paul model – a guitar played by legends like Slash, Jimmy Page or James Hetfield.

In 2015, Epiphone announced a new Les Paul Signature Edition, designed by Björn Gelotte, guitarist for the famous Swedish metal band “In Flames”.

KEY PROMOTIONAL ELEMENTS:

To promote this expensive guitar to professional and ambitious amateur musicians and improve the overall profile and market share of Epiphone as their #1 brand, we used some of the oldest promotional mechanisms in the book:

Challenge and Exclusivity.

Only those who could master a challenge could preorder or even win the new edition.

Execution

CREATIVE EXECUTION:

Through print ads in relevant music magazines and in-store posters, we challenged guitar players to prove their skills: They had to perfectly play a difficult solo, written by Björn Gelotte himself. The precision was measured by using Shazam like never before: As a musical judge.

Because in advance we placed perfectly played master recordings of the solo -recorded in different setups and adapted to the Shazam search algorithm - in the Shazam database. Only if the user played well enough, Shazam would find a match and reveal a website with the chance to exclusively pre-order or even win the new Les Paul.

RELEVANCE:

The artwork had to reflect the high value and legendary history of the Les Paul to attract the audience.

The mechanism with Shazam had to work conveniently, yet precise. Therefore, a lot of testing was needed to find the right configuration of the master files.

Outcome

During the promotion period, countless guitar players tried to master the solo. Because those who weren't good enough didn't produce a measurable result within Shazam, we can only guess the numbers. What we know: Even though only very skilled guitarists could play the solo perfectly in our tests, Shazam measured 250+ successful matches. One lucky guitar mastermind got the new Les Paul for free. The rest of the first production batch was sold out, before it was even in stores. Not least due to the Les Paul Skill Check, the 2015 Les Paul Signature Edition is now at the top of every guitar player's wish list.

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