The Electronic Arts Music team sought to create the first ever in-game music festival for The Sims game - "The Sims Sessions". From June 29th through July 7, 2021, The Sims Sessions featured exclusive ‘live’ performances by Glass Animals, Bebe Rexha and Joy Oladokun within The Sims 4 universe. Players experienced the artists’ respective summer hits – Glass Animals’ one billion global streams smash “Heat Waves”, Rexha’s “Sabotage” and Oladokun’s “Breathe Again” – re-recorded and performed by their artist avatars in the invented game language of Simlish. But first, the Electronic Arts Music team launched a worldwide marketing campaign to spread the word of the upcoming virtual festival.
To kick off this worldwide virtual experience, The Sims launched a TikTok Hashtag Challenge campaign (#SimlishSessions) led by Bebe Rexha on June 24. Rexha encourages Sims fans to create new TikTok videos and sing the Simlish lyrics of her hit song "Sabotage" along with her. The numbers tell a remarkable story. Within 1 week, Rexha’s video had amassed 66.3 million views, 512.8K likes and 15.6K comments. As of December 2021, the video has 123.4 million views, 879.7K likes, and 23.7K comments. The hashtag campaign has accumulated user created videos with over 14.7 billion views to date.
For a global community starved for summer music festival fun, The Sims Sessions was an unparalleled success. In addition to the live performances, players were also able to explore the event with options to create their best festival fashions, camp out, and shop exclusive digital merchandise. The limited-time event generated 448 total stories across gaming, tech, mainstream and lifestyle media for a potential reach of 103.6M UVPD in 17 days.
The event and social media campaign delivered a worldwide immersive and interactive experience, bringing people together through a common language - Similish - as a means of championing self-expression and fun.
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