Entertainment > Audiovisual Branded Content




Silver Cannes Lions
CampaignCampaign(opens in a new tab)





We created an album that reimagined classic wedding songs, flipping the pronouns to upend norms and challenge conventional notions of love songs, which have traditionally been written from a heterosexual point of view.

Partnering with artists to record new versions of classic love songs, we enlisted contributors who have been at the forefront of cultural revolution (Bob Dylan), contributors whose work has particular resonance with the LGBTQ community (Kesha), and contributors who identify as LGBTQ (Kele Okereke, St. Vincent). We deliberately spanned genres and generations.

The new soundtrack formed the center of a campaign that lived across digital, social and retail to create multiple touchpoints for people to experience the project and brand.


The album was recorded and then launched simultaneously on every major streaming platform (Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Pandora), generating buzz in local, national and international news.

We used our artists to spread the message in as many touchpoints as possible. They all (minus Dylan, who doesn’t use social media) posted it on their social channels at launch. Week 2 saw the release of a music video by Kesha, where she marries a lesbian couple at an MGM hotel in Vegas. It served as promotion for her song, but also a PR event in itself. In Week 3 we hit late-night, with Benjamin Gibbard performing “And I Love Him” on Conan. In Week 4, 10,000 vinyl records were sold in stores across the country for Record Store Day. Lastly, She and Him wrote the first original song inspired by the project and released it in two versions to celebrate universal love.


Universal Love was the #9 pop album in the US on iTunes, momentarily rising above Beyonce’s Lemonade. It gained 2.35B earned media impressions in 59 countries in the first three weeks, with over 188MM impressions on social (under 1% of comments being negative). The artists generated 3.9MM video views across their channels. Numerous news outlets, podcasts, and radio shows around the world aired segments about the project.

Of those who were familiar with Universal Love:

93% saw MGM as “a brand worth paying attention to” (16% higher than those unfamiliar with the project) and 94% were more likely to consider an MGM resort on their next trip to Vegas (+12%).

Most importantly, 80% of LGBTQ respondents who were familiar with Universal Love saw MGM as supporting the community (40% higher than those who were not).


"If you look at the history of music, it has always been about changing culture.”

-St. Vincent on Universal Love

MGM Resorts is the leading hotel and entertainment brand in Las Vegas. To increase perceptions of Vegas as a welcoming environment for all, and make a cultural statement at a time when intolerance is steadily rising, we used the power of entertainment – specifically, the power of music. Music became the primary driver of our message.

In order to succeed, our message of inclusivity had to become more than advertising; it had to be world-class entertainment in its own right.


The strategy was simple: make a strong statement and make as big a splash as possible.

Having recently repositioned itself from a B2B hospitality holding company to an international B2C entertainment authority, MGM Resorts needed its first major consumer-facing project to be something that got the brand noticed as more than Vegas, while communicating its values and moving the core business forward. Many corporations support the LGBTQ community but do so discreetly, targeting them as a niche. MGM’s long and well-documented history of inclusion gave permission to go big.

Going big meant the project had to be worthy of sharing and talking about outside the LGBTQ audience. We would leverage Dylan to garner traditional media coverage and get a mix of other artists, from pop to indie to pique interest within their fan-bases and start discussions in influencer circles around the world.


Las Vegas is the “wedding capital of the world,” but not necessarily for LGTBTQ couples. As the largest hotel brand in Vegas, and one with a long history of support for the LGBTQ community, MGM Resorts was on a mission to spread a message of inclusion, showing that Vegas was truly welcoming to all.

Throughout the history of music, love songs have almost solely celebrated heterosexual love. These well-known songs don’t reflect the changing definitions of love and marriage, making them harder for same-sex couples to fully embrace and relate to. As a result, these couples had few choices when it came to wedding songs that represent their relationship. As a popular destination for weddings, we realized MGM could help change that.

We decided to harness the power of music to bring a message of inclusivity to the world in the most entertaining way possible.

More Entries from Audio Content in Entertainment

24 items

Grand Prix Cannes Lions

Online: Fiction


KPN, N=5

(opens in a new tab)

More Entries from McCANN NEW YORK

24 items

Grand Prix Cannes Lions

Glass Lions



(opens in a new tab)