Rocket Entertainment: Elton John Legacy

 

Campaign Summary

To stoke excitement for Elton John’s farewell tour, Rocket Entertainment created a VR simulation that allowed users to experience the performers’ most famous concerts from the 1970s as if they were there in person and sitting in the venues’ best seats.

Insight, Strategy, and the Idea

Elton John was preparing to leave the stage for the final time. To promote his Farewell Tour, Rocket Entertainment used VR technology to recreate his classic 1970s shows, enabling fans to experience them as if they were actually in the live audience.

To stoke excitement about the VR event, Rocket Entertainment released pulses of content during the week of the Grammy Awards, ensuring that John received maximum exposure as pre-sale and general tickets were released.

Execution

During the week of the Grammy Awards, Rocket Entertainment invited the global media to a marquee event in New York City that would be transmitted synchronously to venues in Los Angeles and London. The event kicked-off with a VR retrospective simultaneously viewed by 520 press and VIPs in all three time zones. For this experience to work seamlessly as part of the live event, the VR film and live stream needed to be triggered on wireless VR headsets around the world to within a millisecond of one another. Because no technology existed to reliably achieve this, Rocket Entertainment had to invent it by drawing on innovations developed for fields as diverse as mobile gaming and oil pipeline management. At the same time, YouTube’s new 180VR live-streaming technology gave fans from around the world the opportunity to sit in the best seat in the house as they enjoyed an intimate performance by John, followed by a live Q&A.

Results

Thanks to the campaign, all 60 U.S. shows sold out in just two hours. Forbes pegged the gross revenue at $420 million (which was expected to rise to almost $500 million as more shows are added to meet demand). In addition, the campaign:

  • Generated 5,000 hits per second on EltonJohn.com as people tuned in to the special announcement
  • Produced 640,000 VR livestream views
  • Prompted the publication of 4,100 articles, resulting in 1.48 billion impressions
  • Helped set a pre-ticket sales record through American Express in a mere 48 hours
  • Boosted web traffic at EltonJohn.com by 2,741 percent
  • Led to almost 14 million views of John’s YouTube content the week of the launch

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