Brands opt for holographic music ambassadors

Ever wanted to be in two places at the same time? Well now you can, with a little technological help.

Recently, talk in the FRUKT offices turned to the 10th anniversary of Gorillaz. We’ve been avidly following Damon Albarn's innovative music project since its inception a decade ago, consistently engaged by a steady stream of campaigns that have championed emerging technology. However, what intrigued us most about the concept were the opportunities that a fully functioning animated band could bring to the table for brands.

One of the most exciting aspects of the Gorillaz phenomenon was the idea that the band could potential play in a number of places at the same time – something that until then had only resided in the wishful thinking of band managers the world over.

There were some notable attempts at live Gorillaz shows - the collaboration with Madonna in 2005 at the MTV awards for example -  but production costs simply didn’t merit the band continuing down this route. Ultimately, in 2010, the band came out from behind their cartoon avatars to tour as a physical band.

More recently, thanks to holographic innovation, it is brands themselves that are now leveraging their music ambassadors simultaneously in more than one location or country, as they attempt to multiple the traction of their artist partnerships.

Back in 2009 we saw early signs of how this new holographic technology could be utilised when Universal teamed up with mobile brand Orange on the ‘Orange Monkey Hologram Gigs’, a series of pop up holographic projections in shopping centres, featuring the likes of N-Dubz and Pixie Lott.  It was a live tour, but it didn’t need the artists to actually be there. A novel and potentially lucrative concept.

There have been other attempts to utilise holographic technology, most notably the creation of Hatsune Miku, a completely virtual Japanese pop star, who has turned the tables by offering herself up as a brand ambassador, working with Toyota on a campaign in the US.

However, it is the recent campaign by Deutsche Telekom that has potentially opened the floodgates for the bi-locational artist. The promotion saw Mariah Carey emerging from a giant gift-wrapped box in order to perform live (or seemingly so) in front of massive crowds in Germany, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Poland simultaneously.

It’s a brilliantly executed piece of experiential music marketing, that turns a piece of branded video content into a 'had to be there' music experience that can potentially traverse the globe. Furthermore, the action is all ultimately controlled by the brand, ensuring the experience is tailored to their requirements, effectively limiting human error.

With projection mapping the big marketing gimmick of 2010/11, a resurgence in interest in holographic ambassadors could be the one to watch in 2012/13.

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