Here’s how Sony Music took superstar George Ezra into the metaverse
The campaign won in the Metaverse category at The Drum Awards for Marketing EMEA 2023.
The experience brought George Ezra closer to his fans in the metaverse / Sony Music UK
Musician George Ezra is well-known for his driving basslines and rhythmic hooks. But after reaching the milestone of creating two albums with over a million sales each, Sony Music UK’s 4th Floor Creative & Columbia Records, in collaboration with Sony Music Global Digital Business Development and the metaverse studio Melon, took the step of launching Ezra’s career into a new domain – that of Roblox.
The team at Sony set out to connect Ezra and his music with streaming audiences through a content reach and engagement-driven campaign in order to reach a subset of people who had yet to interact with the star.
To achieve that goal, the team set out to bring the ethos of Ezra’s third album, Gold Rush Kid, to life in the metaverse.
The immersive virtual concert weekend featured within the Gold Rush Kid Experience provided the centerpiece for the broader marketing campaign and gave the artist the opportunity to interact with a new generation of kids by performing four album tracks in Roblox avatar form.
With the music paramount, Melon set out to achieve a new bar for performance fidelity with the concert delivery, which featured a hi-fi animated performance of George Ezra’s in-game Roblox avatar created in-studio using Melon proprietary technology for motion capture. The venue went through multiple environment changes with “spectacular special effects” designed to create a different mood matching each song’s vibe and lyrics to the venue.
During the lead-up and the concert weekend, the Gold Rush Kid Experience attracted 860,000 unique visitors, a total of 2.5m event weekend visits and over 50,000 total hourly visits. Since its launch the experience has entertained 4.1 million total users, achieving longevity in a medium that is often ephemeral and moment-specific. It also led to sales of virtual merchandise, which will extend the Ezra brand onto other Roblox instances.
More importantly for the client, Gold Rush Kid delivered the second-biggest-selling album by a domestically signed UK artist released in 2022. It shot straight to number one upon release and remained a mainstay in the Top 10 over six months later at Christmas. Green Green Grass was a breakout hit and, at the point of writing, is continuing to grow internationally as it closes in on being a million-selling single in the UK.