If November 2020 Adult Swim Festival dipped a virtual toe into Adult Swim’s global possibilities, year 2 of the pandemic needed to showcase the global strength of the Adult Swim brand. 2021’s virtual Festival had to become bigger, more global, attract more live engagement, and put it all together with superior production values. No more Zoom filters overlaying living room shoots.
This year’s Festival had to out deliver and outdo every expectation from last year. More performances. More live panels. A larger global audience. Much bigger production values. Months of pre-production planning went into conceiving the music production and entertainment segments. Live productions were planned, shot with extensive remote multicamera crews, then transformed by talented post-production artists. This year’s Adult Swim Festival would be a mind-blowing extravaganza featuring nearly 3 dozen performances.
Live experiences that surprise, delight, and create mind-blowing spectacle are at the core of the Adult Swim Festival. Enlarging this virtual Festival into a truly global event that lived up to this live spirit required a daunting commitment: make it all original, participatory, globally accessible, surprising, and most of all, fill it with WOW events.
Adult Swim has an enthusiastic and growing global fan base. This year’s festival was programmed to serve the passions of global fans, featuring music artists and performers with a global following. International music headliners Karol G (massive Latin Pop Star), Gojira (France), Alien Weaponry (New Zealand), Sun El Musician (South Africa) and others.
YouTube is the festival’s live-stream hub, with all artists and performers licensed for that platform. Live Twitch streamers have always been permitted under fair-use to watch and comment on the live performance they are watching. A small number of influencers hosted co-streaming ‘Watch-along’ events in 2020. This year’s Festival set out to build a network of Co-Streamers to dramatically enlarge the live global festival.
Adult Swim used months of lead time to collaborate with artists and present big, ambitious multi-media productions for this year’s performances. Performers and designers were given the opportunity to take chances, follow their own visions for virtual performances, and create epic-scale productions specifically made for the Festival. In total, 28 artists and their teams worked with Adult Swim to create over 24 hours of new exclusive content.
Tactics and execution
Results and Impacts
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