Internet Or Die Interview January 20, 2017

72andSunny’s Matthew Carey and WeiWei Dong, Creators of Samsung’s “ANTIdiaRy”

How do you give fans a truly unique experience and access to their favorite artists? We spoke with Matthew Carey and WeiWei Dong, Creative Directors at 72andSunny, about their 2015 Webby-Honored integrated campaign for Samsung's "ANTIdiaRy."

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Samsung's ANTIdiaRy

With videos, music, interactive mobile experiences, and more, ANTIdiaRy is a very complex and impressive undertaking. How did you come up with the concept for the project, and how did you tackle the challenge of integrating all these different media?

The key that unlocked ANTIdiaRy was collaboration. To create something this big, with an artist this massive takes A LOT of brains, imaginations, and hands. Gratefully, we got to collaborate with some of the best on Earth. We collaborated on the narrative and real-world experiences with the legendary Punchdrunk, collaborated on the films and overall look/feel with visionary director Yoann Lemoine, collaborated on the mobile 360 experience with RGA, collaborated on the PR and social engagement with Edelman, and collaborated on EVERYTHING with Samsung and Rihanna’s amazing team. The 72andSunny team brought the mediums and their masters together, we made sure Rihanna’s magic, Samsung’s technology, and the ANTIdiaRy story worked as a symphony across all of these amazing different collaborators and channels.

You created ANTIdiaRy for Rihanna’s album release. What was it like working on a multimedia project for a recording artist? How did her music influence your work?

We wanted to reimagine the way fans engaged with an album launch. So ANTIdiaRy became this immersive journey through Rihanna’s entire career as an artist. The 8 rooms of the narrative represent the eight albums of her career—starting with RiRi’s childhood bedroom in Barbados (“Music of the Sun”) and ending full circle in the ANTIbedroom representing her latest album, “ANTI.” Every aspect of the journey between these two points was inspired by RiRi’s music, lyrics, fashion, music videos, and life events building to the album release. The more you know about Rihanna, the more depth and meaning ANTIdiary holds for you.

We learned that no matter what you make, the audience will make it their own.”
— Matthew Carey and WeiWei Dong, Creative Directors at 72andSunny Creators of Samsung's "ANTIdiaRy"

ANTIdiaRy generated a lot of buzz on the Internet and among Rihanna’s fans. Did the online response exceed your expectations? What was most exciting for you as you watched people react to it online?

The NAVY! Rihanna’s NAVY is definitely the raddest community we’ve ever created for—it was an absolute privilege. They found every clue, interpreted every element, debated the finest details of every chapter, and created heaps of their own content inspired by the experience. They even hacked the source code of the digital experience to find out what was to come—that is true love.

ANTIdiaRy was an honoree for Integrated Advertising last year—congrats! What did you learn from working on this project that you’ll apply to multimedia works in the future?

We learned that no matter what you make, the audience will make it their own. We’ve always considered the role the audience plays but now we no longer see them as “the audience,” we see them as a co-creator and collaborator. It’s a terrifying, thrilling, and infinitely inspiring realization.

What new development in digital advertising in the past five years has had the biggest effect on how you approach your work?

To be 100% honest, it’s 10 years old and it’s called Google Docs. We are constantly searching, pushing, creating, and innovating on new technology to engage folks in the market. But Google Docs has really reshaped the way we approach work internally as a team. We’re all about the real-time collaboration, we’re all up in each other’s shit, jamming, building, rebuilding on the fly. It’s like a creative hive mind in there.

The Internet changes so rapidly that it’s essential to keep innovating to stay relevant (hence our theme this year, “Internet Or Die”). What does it mean “to Internet” at 72andSunny?

We approach the Internet the same way we approach every medium—with curiosity. How can we use it in ways it has never been used? How can we be inspired by the ways the newest generation of humans are using it? The answer to these questions changes every day—so it’s an endless pursuit but that’s how we do.

What emerging digital trend are you most excited about right now? How do you think it will affect your work?

We’re pretty intrigued by AI—creating art, music, poetry, film, and architecture. Creativity is about to be automated just like everything else, which means we can all take a nice long nap. Right?

A big thanks to Matthew Carey and WeiWei Dong, Creative Directors at 72andSunny, for sharing their thoughts and process in creating and developing “ANTIdiaRy.” If you haven’t already, check out the Samsung experience here!

Keep an eye out for more interviews with the rest of our Internet Or Die partners for the 21st Annual Webby Awards!