Acclaimed French rap duo PNL are renowned for breaking and reinventing marketing and communication codes. In a competitive industry that is ever changing and constantly reinventing itself they have managed to stand out thanks to their bold strategy. Over the past 4 years, PNL rebranded itself every year to create a buzz with every album release Le Monde Chico (2015) and Dans la légende (2016). In 2019 they teamed up with Atomic Digital Design (ADD) to work on a campaign to reveal their 3rd album Deux frères, and a 2020 tour, with the aim to further their buzz using social media.
Instagram France, ADD and the group label, QLF, worked together and produced the first augmented reality filter for Instagram (part of the Facebook Group) in May 2019. It was launched exclusively as a premiere on Facebook’s studio platform, Spark AR and only opened to other agencies and influencers in August 2019.
Subsequently, another important operation came into play. The band used Snapchat as a platform to announce the 2020 world tour dates in November 2019 with the aim to take the audience through an innovative experience and a new way to buy tickets pre-sale through the app.
A major factor that guides the band's communication strategy is disruption. Break free from the existent, never be satisfied and always seek to improve what’s already been done, all whilst being innovative. Working for PNL means producing for renowned international artists that have high expectations. Their communicating and marketing strategy allows them to be leaders in their field and remain at the forefront of the industry.
For the past ten years the music industry has had to adapt itself to the digital universe. Artists and their labels got involved and became present on social media : photos, videos, music clips, interviews and challenges. Allowing such interactions in turn increases streaming, reach and impact for artists and their brand. Marketing through promotions, events and concerts’ functions well but augmented reality as an advertising platform in this case wasn’t as common and ADD wanted to change that.
A first for Instagram France
For this first ever AR filter exclusively for Instagram France, we created a ‘double’ piece of content using both the front and back cameras available on smartphones of today. The first, a classic visual interaction with the cover of the new album. An efficient filter effect that truly matches the selfie tendency on social networks.
What was really at stake for the production was the second fully interactive possibility that allows the user to discover in front of them the dancer from the music video “Au DD” (announcing the future album, the video was rated top 30 worldwide on Spotify as it was listened to more than 145 millions times and a first for a french rap song). If the video clip itself was filmed at the very top of the Eiffel Tour, the AR filter allowed every fan to see the performance at his place live.
Just as the filter developed for the Adidas Supercourt, campaign, it was a mix of 3D scans and motion capture that allowed us to answer to the creative expectations of an international band such as PNL…and the technical requirements of the social platforms.
A drive to store system on Snapchat
The music never stops, and for a band such as PNL the true experience happens during their concerts. This time, in partnership with Snapchat, and with an original concept created by the QLF label, we developed a brand-new experience for their 2020 tour.
Further, higher and louder: their tour announcement needed to be exceptional and disruptive as always and including their fans. It started with a Youtube teasing that lasted a few hours and on the group social media pages to increase excitement. In the video, space pods orbited around Earth, targeting specific coordinates of 5 french cities. At the end of the live video, every pod landed, allowing the fans to discover true physical objects to scan, first on the scene to obtain pre-sale tickets for the tour.
On Instagram our filter a week after its launch accumulated 10 million views representing 10 times more followers that the PNL account. A true achievement for our team and the group which was represented with a huge echo within the press ( La VDN, Grazia, CNEWS, etc…). Besides the social media buzz and connected fans it was a true media success for the band.
On Snapchat, a few weeks later, the goal was completed: every ticket for the “PNL Tour 2020” was sold in less than 48 hours and reached more than 700 000 people for an exposure superior to 31 seconds. Here again, it even reached the press and was streamed on the main news channels that were covering the event.
These collaborations between QLF Records and Atomic Digital Design shed light on the power of these kinds of experiences ; more than a simple billboard, they allow the public to take part in a unique experience!