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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

The Spark

Entered in Branded Series


In partnering with YouTube as a launch pad for artists’ careers, Discover was able to establish a presence in the music space to pay off their sponsorship strategy by creating content that gave exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the emerging artists. Discover was looking for the right program to help them achieve their goals of being the card for everyone, by aligning with rising music artists who embodied the essence of Discover’s target audience. This was brought to life through creating a video series that highlights these artists journey to stardom and tying in the Discover values of community in showing how these artists communities supported them along with way. This program was intended to be both a storytelling and performance series that brought artists back to the place that ignited their musical journey. With Discover as the first presenting sponsor of the brand-new program, the series was created with brand storytelling in mind.  

Strategy and Execution

Leveraging YouTube’s extensive data and access to rising stars in music, we prioritized identifying two artists -- d4vd & Maddie Zahm -- who aligned with Discover’s strategic positioning. These artists embody the Discover values of being relatable and down to earth which was the key feature of this content.


Through interviews conducted by unexpected but critical figures in their lives, the artists told their stories of where they first got their Spark -- through a series of performances in spaces that had special meaning for them and. Whether the location was a church choir or a closet, the space allowed for a special viewing experience for the fans to watch the artist perform their latest hits back in the places where it all began. These artist sessions took fans on a journey and the Discover brand was the authentically part of the conversation.


To deliver a unique digital experience for fans, the program launched with exclusive artist hero videos and shoulder content that bridged the connection between the artists and Discover. The series also created an opportunity for a deep brand presence with thematic questions aligning to brand messaging. Robust content distributional and promotional media included for each artist:


The program gave the Discover brand the ability to surround a relevant music artist through exclusive, premium produced performance content, while deepening the association between Discover and the artist through brand-themed interview questions and answers conveying the brand message and values.


Finally, it helped reinforce Discover as the catalyst for introducing these artists to a wider net through branded social amplification cut downs and Google-funded paid promotion (e.g., Google Ads, Masthead, etc.)


This campaign captivated a global audience, over-delivering impressions and setting watch time milestones and exceeding engagement rates. Maddie's videos had 1.53M+ US views, exceeding goal by +54% and d4vd's had 1.93M+ US views, exceeding goal by +93%


Discover received additional brand exposure running across Google ads ecosystem with YouTube TrueView and bonus YouTube Masthead to garner a total of 10.7M+ co-branded impressions.


Bringing fandoms close to their favorite artists and their “Spark” moment proved to be very successful in surpassing all performance metrics and driving association and relevancy for the Discover brand, with Discover’s brand messaging and values of community seamlessly integrated in the content through meaningful storytelling. The program response from fans sparked a wave of positive sentiment, demonstrating how the artists’ humble origins propelled their journeys and ultimately established a profound connection.


By shining a spotlight on the brand core messages, the artists conveyed the significant of community in their own lives. Between the reach of YouTube and the power generated by fans the results were remarkable, which was a win for the presenting brands, the partner, and the artists.


Video for The Spark

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Mindshare Content+, Discover Financial Services


Entry Credits