City Hack

City Hack: A unique seven-episode series that championed creatives and entrepreneurs in all aspects of electronic music and club culture: DJs, promoters, graphic designers and visual designers from three different UK cities teamed up to battle it out through a series of challenges, culminating in the most exciting, innovative, forward-thinking event and a soundclash at a high profile UKF event in Building Six, London.

Emphasising the brand’s creative message and positioning of ‘going your own way’, City Hack generated over 2.8 million views and 6.6 million social reach. Desperados branding was on three music videos and three upfront, well-supported grime/drum & bass releases on Spotify/iTunes.

Here’s how the campaign worked out…

Campaign Overview

  • City Hack from Desperados & UKF was a creative competition with three teams from London, Bristol and Manchester battling it out across different challenges to win a UKF mentorship.
  • Each team featured a DJ, Graphic Designer, Promoter and Visual Artist at the top of the game in their local scene, hand-picked from hundreds of applicants.
  • The challenges ranged from directing music videos to putting on parties in unexpected venues, culminating in a sound clash at UKF London alongside Sub Focus
  • After directing a music video for Plastician and Jammz London Living, getting coloured smoke to pour from the Truman Brewery chimney, putting on a party in a chapel with a projection-mapped organ and pulling out guests like Riya and jungle legend General Levy, the London team The Big Smoke were declared the winners.

Client Objectives

  • Traditional advertising had struggled to bring meaning to ‘Way of the Desperados’, the lead creative message and a key objective of the campaign was to bring a greater understanding of it for the target audience of 18-24s
  • SMV also wanted the brand to feel modern, relevant and unique, while at the same time being seen to be the life and soul of a party.
  • Most importantly the agency wanted the brand to be seen to be authentic and for this reason they wanted to generate a high level of organic views

AEI Deliverables

  • Competition launch video with a strong visual identity and a call-to-action to enter the competition
  • Competition website
  • 7 City Hack episodes following the teams’ experience through the competition
  • 3 branded music videos
  • 3 branded releases on Spotify and iTunes
  • City Hack takeover of Room 2 at UKF London

Campaign Results

  • 2.8 Million video views (46% organic)
  • 6.6 Million social reach
  • EP singles were streamed 31,000 times on Spotify and Apple Music
  • 500,000 listeners on Radio 1 and 1Xtra
  • Increased awareness and sentiment

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