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Case study: Selling singles through rich media

James Connelly
Case study: Selling singles through rich media James Connelly
Calvin Harris is not an album seller, unlike most artists. He brings out three big summer anthems each year. As an artist, he is experimental and is always keen on new promotional activity and mobile has, unsurprisingly, caught his attention. His record label, Sony, turned to mobile advertising agency Fetch Media to help promote his latest anthem.

The brief

Let's set the stage...

Founded in 1888, Columbia is the oldest surviving name in pre-recorded sound, being the first record company to produce pre-recorded records as oppose to blank record cylinders. Columbia records went on to release records by an array of notable singers, instrumentalists and groups. Today it is the first subsidiary label of Sony Music Entertainment.

The campaign objective was to drive engagement and purchase of the new single, 'Bounce featuring Kelis', in order to move it up the charts, increase radio airtime and exposure to make it the summer anthem of 2011. For this it had to reach Calvin Harris' audience in an engaging and mind blowing way. Fetch needed to create a campaign, not only with wide reach in the week of launch, but that also had the impact required to grab people's attention and engage them with both the song and video.

Curious about the strategy? It included media buying, exciting creative design and HTML5.

The strategy and execution

The media needed to be highly targeted to the exact audience of house music followers, festival lovers with a female skew, 15-34. As a highly targeted campaign would limit reach, CTRs and response had to be at a maximum.

Media solution: create awareness and achieve direct response




  • During week one, on Shazam and The Ministry of Sound, we built awareness with expandable and rich media formats, targeting house music channels. On MTV, you could also see the HTML5 creative used to drive maximum engagement with the single.

  • On the day of the single's release, a listening screen takeover played the role of a roadblock for maximum impact.

  • Finally, a supporting campaign of blind networks targeted towards females/music generated further reach and awareness.

Creative solution: An HTML5 unit was specially built for MTV



  • The HTML unit allowed users to a) buy the single and b) watch the video.

  • And experience Calvin Harris' clip after the bouncing ball animation.

  • After seeing the ball bouncing in the banner, and tapping on it, users were exposed to an amazing full screen expandable ad, providing the call to actions listed above.

You have finally arrived at the most exciting part, the results!

The results

Sony Music and Calvin Harris were ecstatic with the results as it provided far more cost effective results than previous online and TV campaigns:



  • The campaign received more than 8 million impressions within 10 days.

  • 30 per cent of the users watched the video or clicked to iTunes after having engaged with the HTML5 unit.

  • Fetch Media's campaign achieved a CTR optimised to 1 per cent which provided an effective cost per click of under 17p -- incredibly low for a rich media campaign.

  • The single went straight into Radio 1's A List and the single charted at number two within its first week in the iTunes chart.

Rich media ads are an important battleground for those looking to dominate the mobile advertising space, and a win for both publishers and advertisers.

James Connelly is MD of Fetch Media


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