FEATURING ALEXA

Short List
ClientTOO MANY T'S
Category B06. Use of Technology
TitleFEATURING ALEXA
Product/ServiceTOO MANY T'S
Entrant SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Munich, GERMANY
Idea Creation SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Munich, GERMANY
Idea Creation 2 TOO MANY T'S London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production ROBIN KAROW Munich, GERMANY
Credits
Name Company Position
Alexander Schill SERVICEPLAN GROUP Global Chief Creative Officer
Lorenz Langgartner SERVICEPLAN GROUP Creative Innovation Director
Franz Roeppischer SERVICEPLAN GROUP Creative Innovation Director
Saurabh Kakade SERVICEPLAN GROUP Art Director
Pedro Gropo SERVICEPLAN GROUP Art Director
Standaloft Too Many T's Artist / MC
Leon Rhymes Too Many T's Artist / MC
Savage Henry independent / TMT's DJ & collaborator Artist / DJ / Producer
Henan Wensink Henan X Music Supervisor
Robin Karow Robin Karow Director
Christoph Werner Robin Karow DOP
Marie Kobylka Robin Karow Editor

Why is this work relevant for Direct?

Featuring Alexa is the world’s first song in collaboration with the voice of an AI: Alexa, the #1 AI voice assistant by Amazon, present in more than 100 million homes around the globe. It allows UK Hip Hop crew Too Many T’s not only to demonstrate their creativity and songwriting skills, but also to deliver live performances with any Alexa in people’s homes all around the world, resulting in the first virtual world tour.

Background

Too Many T’s are an independent DIY Hip Hop crew from South London, known for their lyrical skills, and creative music videos as well as live performances. Locally recognized, they wanted to make the next step towards a bigger – global, and especially US – audience in 2018. Self-signed, without the big promotional and industry connections of a major label, they have to rely on their creativity

Describe the creative idea

A common way of promoting an upcoming artist to a bigger audience is by “featuring”: inviting an already famous guest artist on a track, usually from the same label. TMT’s don’t have these connections, still they managed to get a feature – the first one ever – by one of the most famous voices worldwide: Alexa, the #1 AI voice assistant by Amazon, present in more than 100 million homes around the globe. Featuring Alexa is the world’s first song in collaboration with the voice of an AI. It can be performed live anywhere, anytime.

Describe the strategy

Interacting with Alexa on their track allowed TMT’s not only to demonstrate their creativity and songwriting skills, but also to deliver live performances with any Alexa in people’s homes all around the world, basically resulting in their first world tour. Besides that, all the ingredients of the idea and song were selected to maximize the chance to get media attention: From using one of the biggest tech hypes of today – voice assistants – to writing the song around the controversial auto-tune audio effect, and its most prominent user Kanye West. The video was shot in one take to prove the authenticity of the interactions with Alexa.

Describe the execution

After researching and testing thousands of Alexa interactions, we found the auto-tune command on which the song is based. The story of the song starts with a prologue where TMT’s come up with the idea of copying Kanye West’s recipe for success – auto-tune – to get famous themselves. As naturally, they can’t sing in auto-tune, they jokingly ask Alexa if she can, to which she replies with a version of Kanye West’s famous “Heartless” auto-tune chorus. The song starts, and TMT’s fantasize about their now guaranteed fame, interacting with Alexa who raps, sings and drums. She calculates how much plays they need to make a million dollars from streaming revenue, then plays TMT’s album title track in the end on viewers stereos, generating actual streaming revenue.

List the results

More than 83m contacts, generating $25m in free media. More than 12m combined views on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. More than 1.6m live concerts in 37 countries – meaning: plays together with Alexa, which we know from streaming statistics. 127% more plays, 35% more followers on Amazon Music.