The BRIT Awards 2016 – Embracing the digital revolution

Last night we saw the annual BRIT awards take place at the O2 arena in London, with superstar Adele claiming a massive four awards, and incredible live performances from the likes of Justin Bieber, Coldplay and James Bay. However, it was the online digital presence of the ceremony that really stole the show. Dubbed to be the ‘most digital ever‘, the awards utilised almost every social media channel imaginable, meaning there wasn’t a single person globally that could avoid seeing some sort of digital coverage of the BRIT awards 2016.

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(Image Via KissFM)

Due to the rapid evolution of the digital age ‘the relationship between TV and the second screen is now more dynamic than ever‘, and the possibilities to engage audiences, particularly on social media, are endless. The BRITs took this opportunity in its stride, prompting audiences to interact and participate in the awards, right from the comfort of their own homes.

Shaun Springer, Head of Digital Marketing for the BRITs 2016 commented:

“As the BRIT Awards take on an increasingly global following, we are always looking for ways to make the event more accessible to those who aren’t attending on the night.  So wherever fans are we will bring them more Priceless experiences both digitally and socially.” (Via BRITs 2016)

The strategy started with the most conventional platforms, utilising Facebook and YouTube’s live streaming features, allowing viewers a 360′ degree view of the red carpet prior to the awards. Presented by fan favourites Lilah Parsons and George Shelley, viewers could see live back stage footage and interviews, including talks with previous BRIT award winner Jess Glynn and award nominees One Direction. This feature enabled audiences to interact with the awards right from the get-go, by initiating audience interaction through allowing viewers to send in their own questions for the stars via Facebook. This stimulated pre-award show talking points, consequently supporting the BRITs other digital platforms.

Over on Twitter, a custom made brit Emoji (or ‘Britmoji) was created, which appeared automatically whenever the hashtag #Brits2016 was used, allowing for the BRITs brand to be repeatedly broadcast on nearly every Twitter feed in both the UK and internationally. Personalised artist hashtags and Emoji’s were also created for the artists who performed on the night. Also, for the third year running, the audience had the power to use Twitter to vote for the winner of the ‘Best British Video’ award by using their desired acts personalised hashtag E.g. #OnedirectionBRITs. Yet again, this not only created a platform in which the members of the public could interact with the awards, but consciously prompted and persuaded them to get involved.

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(Image Via The Independent)

The social media tactics didn’t stop there, keeping up with current trends and understanding the huge potential to reach a mass audience (100 Million daily users to be exact), the BRIT awards had its own personal story on Snapchat. This allowed followers to
see behind the scenes footage of nominees and winners. Members of the audience were also able to contribute, meaning the at-home audience could view the awards from the in-house audience’s point of view. The digital engagement strategy used by the BRITs was all about ensuring viewers felt involved, and the BRIT awards ensured they tackled this from every angle possible.

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(Image Via WallBlog)

Following on with the live video content, The BRIT’s used Vine to allow second-screen viewers access to even more behind the scenes content. Pairing up with Vine famous stars Anthony Sharp and Lesley Wai, the BRIT’s were able to successfully target a mass pre-existing audience, furthering the global reach.

This pairing with ‘social media famous’ stars wasn’t the only coupling to be made on The BRITs social media platforms, as Instagram was taken over by none other than rock royalty Anais Gallagher, daughter of Oasis star Noel Gallagher. With over 70,000 followers herself, Anais is no stranger to the world of Instagram, which is a definite necessity when posting to not only 14 Million UK Instagram accounts, but also an incredible 100 Million USA users.

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(Image Via WallBlog)

Ahead of the show, Caroline Drucker, Instagram Head of Strategic Partnerships at EMEA commented:

“Our global community of over 400m is incredibly passionate about music, which is one one of the most followed interests on Instagram…the BRITs nominees have a highly engaged community of fans.” (Via Creatful)

With “Instagram’s per-follower engagement rate for top brands being 58 times higher than on Facebook, and 120 times higher than on twitter” (LePage, 2015), it was crucial that The BRITs created a well thought out Instagram strategy, harnessing the power to generate maximum audience engagement.

With complete global digital domination, 2016 was the year The BRITs completely re-defined how PR practitioners utilise digital platforms to ensure maximum reach and engage audiences. Gone are the days where brands simply share Facebook status’s (or the odd tweet if they were really ahead of the game), the digital age is here to stay, and brands should take a leaf out of The BRIT Awards book and embrace the ever evolving digital revolution.

(Please Note: All Italics/Bold are links)

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