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From the 12th Annual Shorty Awards

MTV's The Hills: New Beginnings - Smule Duet with Natasha Bedingfield

Finalist in Emerging Platform

About this entry

“Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield served as the iconic opening credits song for the original series of MTV’s The Hills. When the reboot, The Hills: New Beginnings, was confirmed, it was also announced that it would continue to use a version of the song in the new opening credits. In an effort to return the song to the cultural zeitgeist, we knew we had to bring it back better than ever. The Smule app is a digital version of Karaoke, and their “Duet” feature allows fans to join notable artists (such as Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran, Demi Lovato and more) in a digital sing-along. Together with Smule, we set out to create a unique Duet execution in an effort to help promote the return of the show, with Natasha singing “Unwritten” along with fans.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

Prior to our launch, we brought the Smule team and Natasha together in LA to record her half of the duet. From there, we focused on a comprehensive marketing plan using The Hills and Smule’s social media accounts. The Smule team sent over 50M push notifications informing users that The Hills was coming back and inviting them to sing along with Natasha. Additionally, @TheHills accounts actively promoted the activation on owned social.


Smule ran over 1.6M at-launch interstitials, with over 560K clicks (CTR over 34%) and over 50K post-play interstitials linking out to The Hills website, with over 5K clickthroughs (10% CTR). (as of 7/19) So far, we’ve seen over 550,000 in-app engagements from our Smule partnership, with 40,000 users singing “Unwritten.” Of those, 25,000 have been duets with Natasha Bedingfield. “Unwritten” has been listened to 360,000 times in the Smule app since launch in June! In the day leading up to the premiere we received 21K new Instagram followers and 5K new Twitter followers. On premiere night of the show, we had three worldwide trends, two of which trended at #1 and #2 throughout the night, and we also had 5 U.S. trends. In addition, we received an organic Twitter moment and were the #1 Cable TV Series of the night.


Video for MTV's The Hills: New Beginnings - Smule Duet with Natasha Bedingfield

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