WEBBY x INSTAGRAM ALL-STARS is a new interview series produced in partnership with Instagram for Business, featuring this year’s best Webby-winning projects for Instagram. Stay tuned for more Q&As.
When Instagram launched its IGTV feature in 2018, BBDO New York and Bacardi knew that they had to to create a unique and memorable experience for users, utilizing Instagram’s multiple capabilities.
The end result? “Bacardi – Live Moves,” the first music video directed via Instagram Polls—which took home the 2019 Webby Award for Social Media Campaigns.
We spoke with Taylor Marsh, Creative Director at BBDO New York on the project, how his team planned for 1,024 potential outcomes with Instagram Polls, and more.
Bacardi “Live Moves” is an interactive, audience-directed music video. Why was Instagram Stories/IGTV the right platform and medium for this innovative project?
Both the brand and our influencer talent (Les Twins) already had a large follower base on Instagram, so it made sense to engage our existing audience there.
While other social platforms focus solely on short clips, using the interactivity of (Instagram) Stories to inform our longer form content on IGTV allowed us to land a more emotional and personal narrative and create a collaborative experience that had never been done before.
Bacardi has always been an adventurous brand when it comes to social experiences and we were excited to see how people would react to and engage with longer form vertical content.
Most of today’s dance videos are shot horizontally. What were some things you had to keep in mind for this project while experimenting in a vertical space?
From the very beginning Live Moves was designed to be a mobile-first experience. It not only needed to be a vertical format, we wanted fans to feel like they were actually there on set helping to craft and direct the music video.
We played with a bunch of different layouts and designs for the different polling moments in order to keep them interesting and different throughout the experience.
We also had to find a way to showcase the dynamic moves of both our influencer dancers within a tighter, more narrow frame. To do this, we spent the majority of the story focusing on each individual character’s journey and dance moves before ultimately having them meet up to perform together.
“ The Stories format adds a level of accessibility for our fans. They feel real, raw, and personal.”
How did you manage the real-time response that is needed when putting a production in the hands of followers, especially while managing talent?
Lots and lots of planning and working with great partners. Using an extremely detailed decision tree and content rollout plan, we planned for 1,024 different potential outcomes and had each segment of the story colored and edited and ready to go by the time the results of the fan poll had been determined. We also left some of the polling moments more open, like locations and dance moves, allowing our celebrity talent to get creative and try different things on the shoot day to see what looked best.
How does your team find the balance between using Instagram as a creative canvas and as a platform to achieve serious business results? What goes into your upfront marketing and planning?
It’s a combination of harder working shorter executions with more emotionally driven longer form narratives. Instagram allows us to deliver our target both formats and easily measure their performance and engagement. We also have a really engaged audience so we look to create content that is going to excite them and entertain them.
Why do you think the Instagram Stories format is so appealing, and how are you thinking about the use of Stories for future projects?
The story format adds a level of accessibility for our fans. They feel real, raw, and personal. Expressing oneself in public can sometimes feel daunting or intimidating, and by seeing established influencers participate and post, it added a level of intimacy that fans could identify with and aspire to achieve themselves.
The “stories” format is also full of future potential for us. Every time a new sticker or tool function is added, we experiment and work to find a way to leverage it and provide fans with a new playful form of entertainment. It allows us to give our followers experiences that invite them to create content, not just consume it.
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