The Challenge

Vossi Bop was Stormzy’s first new release in two years, and the first since he signed to a major label – our client, Atlantic Records. Our release date was shared with the comeback of international pop princess, Taylor Swift, a regular at the top of the charts who put Stormzy’s career high of a #6 into context. To make matters worse, Taylor has sixty times Stomzy’s social following, so we’d need to reach a wider male 16-34 audience to get the number one.

Our Approach

The Brief

The primary objective was simple; get Vossi Bop to debut at #1 in the UK Singles Charts. The secondary objective was to make the accompanying music video famous.

What we did

Our audience spend 6 hours a day online (TGI). But they absolutely hate online ads: they’re the most likely demographic to ad block. So we looked at what they do love online. Our research found 83% of young men share memes at least weekly. But memes are almost entirely silent, focussing on static and gif imagery.

Our idea was to make audio integral to the meme format. In effect turning the meme into a piece of marketing content for Stormzy’s track. Or to look at in another way, to chop up Stormzy’s track into a collection of relevant memes. MAKING IT HAPPEN: FROM SILENT TO SOUND-ON Memes are current and reactive, so it was critical that we were too. Firstly, social listening identified what our mainstream male audience were talking about. Topics of interest ranged from upcoming school exams, environmental concerns to the Game of Thrones finale. Next, we needed our song snippets. We analysed data points on YouTube, Spotify and Facebook to pinpoint which moments within Vossi Bop was garnering the most attention and engagement.

Once we had the topics and the clips, we partnered with The Great British Memes who provided the missing Meme ingredient – a humorous link between the two. Great British Meme then shared these on their network of popular meme sites. We then sat back and let these be shared.

The Results

RESULTS The memes got Stormzy social scale at a 60% cheaper view rate than standard social formats. Not only that – they delivered eight times the sound-on to the usual placement. The assets were so good that Stormzy ended up sharing them himself. We beat Taylor to the coveted #1 spot, with a whopping 45% more sales in week one. With 12.7m listens on streaming services, Vossi Bop received the most streams in one week for any rapper… ever. In fact, Stormzy now boasts the highest sales for a British act since Ed Sheeran’s January 2017 hit “Shape of You”.

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