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Skype’s premium group video calling service allows people to get together whenever apart. We were briefed to explore ways of showcasing its benefits over 121 calling – focusing on Facebook users who may not have considered upgrading. Our challenge was to find a way of socialising the experience of group video calling and showcase its wonderful possibilities without users having to first subscribe.

We created the ‘Say it with Skype’ Facebook app that enabled friends to send special messages with the help of artists and performers – all framed in a group video calling experience that users could join via webcam. We launched with a ‘Happier Birthdays’ section with the help of artists including Bowling for Soup, Ash, Scarlet Grey, Imogen Heap and CSS.

To spread the word we created personalised group video messages for Skype advocates and influencers on Twitter using their favourite artists – sent out on their actual birthdays.

We then took the musical theme to SXSW, creating pop up ‘crowd surfing’ stations around Austin rewarding user participation with gig tickets and a digital keepsake of their surf to share in social media. Our stations were covered on USA Today and Entrepreneur Magazine (and its 140,000 followers) as among the best and most engaging promos @ SXSW.

Skype’s evening VIP experience came together around a 35 feet high group video call stage with bands’ live performances infused with user generated video content from the 600+ capacity crowd beamed to screens above them. Pods were laid out where visitors could log on to the Say it with Skype Facebook app and send musical messages to friends accompanying one of the bands performing live at the event; The Parlotones.

To keep content fresh, we added a crowd sourcing feature to enable unsigned bands to submit themselves to feature as the next hot band in the app, get their talent noticed and win studio time. Over 600 unsigned bands submitted their demo via YouTube videos and live webcam performances.

To date, the campaign has generated 230 million social impressions, generating over two million page views and 1.3 million visitors. The average time spent with Skype on Facebook has also increased 400% and more than 95,000 user-generated videos have been created and shared so far.

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