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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Rockstar x Stormzy

Entered in Music & Dance


Similar to the music industry, the energy drinks market is a crowded and competitive space in which it’s almost impossible to make it to the top. Red Bull’s ubiquitous cultural presence, and Monster’s huge global footprint means there isn’t a lot of limelight left for any of the many challengers.


Far from an actual rockstar, Rockstar Energy was lacking awareness, relevance, and was rarely top of mind - especially at the point of purchase. After years of inconsistent communications, most people didn’t know what it was, and the ones that did, didn’t know what it stood for.


It was time for change.


Rockstar was in need of a big moment to reconnect with an evolving audience mindset. In order to cut through a crowded category, it needed to be innovative, entertaining, and fresh. The goal was to drive cultural relevance by creating a meaningful association with music.


This activation came to life as a first-of-its-kind interactive live concert featuring one of the UK’s most popular artists, Stormzy. Due to the interactive nature of the experience, everyone watching could have a completely unique version of the concert – an experience so novel and captivating it resulted in 187,000 concerts created.

Strategy and Execution

Through in-depth qual research, we found that there was a new kind of energy drink consumer who lived more for fun, pleasure, and enjoyment - prioritising the stuff they loved. They were tired of toxic hustle culture and letting the “joyless grind” of everyday life drain their energy, leaving them feeling flat and unable to enjoy the shared moments they truly live for.


This was especially felt at the end of the working day when switching from what they “had to do” to what they “wanted to do”. In those moments, they weren’t just looking for functional energy, but also for an emotional mood lift to ensure they don’t miss out on the things they truly care about.


So while the rest of the category was talking about hustling, grinding and performance, we positioned Rockstar as the antidote to the joyless grind and the enabler of play through entertainment.

To match our audience’s mindset, and increasing desire for fun over hustle, we developed a new creative platform: Press Play. This positioned the brand as the provider of the emotional and physical lift our audience needed in transitional moments, to help them Press Play on the things they love.

To bring this idea to life, we partnered with the world’s biggest music platform, Spotify, to create the first ever multiverse concert experience on the platform, with one of the UK’s most entertaining and chart-topping artists out: Stormzy. Users could switch seamlessly between 5 different worlds and 5 different Stormzys – from a real life Stormzy on stage to a virtual Stormzy performing inside a Street Fighter-inspired game – simply by tapping their screen. Each world was a representation of our audience’s interests, further amplifying the emotional lift they were looking for.

To turn our content into culture, we needed to create a first-of-its-kind concert experience with the highest level of craft.


After capturing Stormzy performing live, we then recreated the performance in a motion capture studio – with Stormzy serving as his own body double.


We matched each moment from the original performance move for move, angle for angle before recreating his performance in Unreal Engine – developing 4 more unique worlds, 4 more Stormzy avatars, and ultimately, 4 additional versions of the concert.


With our 5 different versions of the gig, we allowed users to switch seamlessly between the 5 different worlds without skipping a beat – the camera angles, his body position, and the audio remaining perfectly in sync throughout.     


We launched our concert on Friday, 21st July at 5pm on Spotify, as people were ready to unplug from work, revolutionising the way people enjoy music on the platform.


Across numerous markets, we delivered an entertaining experience that was:








Video for Rockstar x Stormzy

Entrant Company / Organization Name

180 Amsterdam, PepsiCo

Entry Credits