Special Report: Brand Livestream
Kevin Best, Contributing Editor, BrandStorytelling.tv
Highlighting Impactful Live Streaming
The All New QX55 Streaming Concert Experience
Celebrity/Influencer: Aloe Blacc
Date: November 17
Days after Honda unveiled its latest Civic live on Twitch, Infiniti continued the new trend on Youtube with the reveal of their new QX55. While both events turned in around twenty thousand viewers, the two car companies took very different approaches to this new format. Infiniti’s event, which was packaged as an Aloe Blacc concert, lasted over 30 minutes, feeling much more like an “event.” This was in stark contrast to Honda’s reveal, which was only a minute-long, pre-made video of different angles of the car. The hype of Honda’s reveal didn’t seem to meet expectations, something that Infiniti hoped to not repeat.
Infiniti began with their new car shrouded in darkness onstage behind Blacc, only to be revealed with bright lights during the climax of his song “The Man.” While Honda didn’t have anyone from the company speak during their initial reveal, Infiniti opted to show a pre-recorded conversation between their Senior Vice President of Global Design and the General Manager of Product Planning. The two men spoke about why the QX55 was a dream project to work on, and their inspirations for the design. This section might not have included all of the car’s features avid fans were expecting or hoping for, but it was much more than what Honda offered up in their reveal.
While Honda tried to capitalize on Twitch’s younger audience, it might have backfired due to the platform’s predominantly displayed live-scrolling comment section. The 23k viewers who were watching Honda’s gaming channel for the car to be unveiled between Fortnite matches immediately began sounding off in disapproval about what they perceived as an “overhyped” and much too brief first look. Infiniti chose to host their reveal on their own Youtube channel, which has 12.7k subscribers, and only 60 comments that viewers had to scroll down to see.
Blacc performed three songs total, briefly talking between each number about the impact he hopes his music makes. The cameras, meanwhile, continually showed new angles of the car and reminded viewers that this wasn’t just a concert. Afterwards, Blacc sat down for a 10-minute interview about his career, and how he aligns with the Infiniti brand and their newest car. This portrayed Blacc as more of a brand ambassador for Infiniti than just a performer at their event. As more car companies decide to live-stream the reveals of their latest models, they will probably look to Infiniti’s blueprint for success.
Recent Live Streams from Top Brands
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Brand: Macy’s, Verizon
Platform: Twitter, Youtube
Reach: 4.9 Million
Time: November 26
Thanksgiving looked different for most of us this year, but we were still able to tune into the 94th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The event was livestreamed to over 50 million people through Verizon’s Youtube page. While many brands have had to suddenly pivot to livestream, Verizon is no stranger to the technology. For the fifth year in a row, Verizon used its 360 Live cameras to give viewers the power to zoom in and focus on whatever part of the parade they wanted. Macy’s was able to keep the show going by reimagining what it could be: there were no live spectators, and instead of the normal 2.5 mile trek, the “parade” was staged in the Herald Square area of Midtown Manhattan.
ShopShops, designer Rebecca Minkoff
Event: ShopShops US Launch, She’s Live on ShopShops
Platform: Instagram, shopshopslive.com, ShopShop app
Date: November 28 - December 20
The livestream shopping platform ShopShops, which has been called “QVC for the social media generation,” expanded into U.S. markets with their “She’s Live on ShopShops” campaign. The campaign is spotlighting female-founded U.S. brands. Although the company is New York based, it had previously only connected Chinese consumers with U.S.-based brands. Now they are connecting shoppers from within the U.S., Europe, and Asia to U.S. retailers. ShopShops founder and CEO Liyia Wu kicked things off with designer Rebecca Minkoff on Instagram Live, and Minkoff later unveiled some of her latest collection on ShopShops app during the event’s first weekend. There will be different headliners each weekend until December 20th, just in time for holiday shopping.
HBO Max, Warner Brothers
Event: Snyder Cut Teaser Reveal
Date: November 17
HBO Max and Warner Brothers decided to turn the reveal of a new teaser for the “Snyder Cut” of Justice League into a livestream event on Vero. The date marked the one year anniversary of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaign, a fan led movement which called for Warner Brothers to allow Justice League’s original director to finish his version. During the hour-long livestream, Snyder revealed a new teaser, in both full color and black and white, broke down each scene, and answered fan questions through his Vero account. It should perhaps surprise no one that there is overlap between DC fans that want to see the Snyder Cut, and users of the pro-privacy social media platform Vero. Of course, it doesn’t hurt this brand partnership that Snyder is a friend of Vero CEO Ayman Hariri.
ON THE RADAR
Opportunities for Brands
Spotify’s Very First Livestream Concert
Date: November 26
Spotify entered the live-stream concert arena on Thanksgiving Day, partnering with the platform Streaming+ to host a virtual event featuring popular Japanese bands from their “Tokyo Super Hits” playlist. Each artist performed for roughly fifteen minutes, with tickets costing around $30.
The show started at 8pm Japan standard time, which was early Thanksgiving morning for those attending in the US. While this particular event was mostly targeted towards audiences based in Japan, this is surely the first of many live-stream concerts Spotify will be rolling out themed around their various popular playlists. It will be interesting to see if they continue to partner with Streaming+, or move to fully hosting upcoming virtual events with their own platform.
About Kevin Best
Kevin Best is a writer and film critic who lives in Los Angeles, California. He is the host of the podcast Sequel Rewrite, and is working on his first novel.