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From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

Independent Moments

Entered in Branded Series


Stage 13 is Warner Bros.’ fearless, original digital content brand showcasing a new generation of inspired talent and voices in scripted and unscripted storytelling. It’s premium, episodic TV… flipped upside down, delivering our legacy of quality entertainment across YouTube & Facebook and on Stage 13 partnered with MetroPCS as a sponsor to present the 12-episode documentary series "Independent". The show features four of hip-hop’s most exciting independent artists as they work to take over the music scene without the ties of a major record label. Each branded episode of "Independent" was distributed across Stage 13’s YouTube and Facebook Watch pages and on Video description and social copy included “Presented by MetroPCS” attribution and brand tags, while in-show integrations and animated logo snipes throughout each episode helped highlight key moments featuring mobile technology to demonstrate how being an independent artist these days means being constantly connected with fans.

Strategy and Execution

MetroPCS looked to Warner Bros. Stage 13 to help drive brand awareness and conversion by aligning with its digital, premium entertainment with multicultural millennials passionate about hip-hop and music, and to inspire viewers through the power of “hustle” to achieve their dreams. Stage 13 tailored the campaign to impress MetroPCS brand messaging to its audience as well as the millions of fans following the show's stars: Futuristic, Reverie, Sean Brown, and Trinidad James. The multi-faceted content partnership included in-show integrations, custom vignettes, talent promotion, and press — and leveraged Warner Bros. first party data to effectively target the client’s desired audience. Stage 13 built a massive audience of engaged fans across Facebook and YouTube who were exposed to an inside look at the hustle, business acumen, and sacrifices it takes to build a music career without the support of a well-known music label.


MetroPCS’s sponsorship of Independent was overall a huge success, delivering over 18 million views across Facebook, YouTube, and, and exceeding industry benchmark viewership rates. A study on the campaign measured the successful conversion of driving viewers to in-store visits, validating the efficacy of the campaign for MetroPCS. A large part of the success of the campaign is owed to the alignment of the interests of the “Independent” audience with MetroPCS brand messaging. Viewers of the series responded well to the connection between being a self-made artist/entrepreneur and having a digital network at their fingertips, as exemplified by the talent. A strategy that was social-media focused for distribution and marketing ensured that the campaign reached its intended audience on the platforms where they’re most active and empowered to share the content and brands that speak to them.


Video for Independent Moments

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Stage 13