VerticPortals and Sony BMG Let Elvis Lovers to Sing Christmas Duets

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Sony BMG has launched a 'Sing with the King' website, developed by the interactive agency VerticPortals. Using state-of-the-art interactive technology, visitors to the site can record a duet with the legendary Elvis Presley.

Sony BMG has launched a 'Sing with the King' website, http://www.singwiththeking.com, developed by the interactive agency VerticPortals. The site supports the release of the 'Elvis Presley Christmas Duets' album released earlier this year.

After listening to the Presley & Martina McBride 'Blue Christmas' duet, the site allows users to record their own version of McBride's part by singing down their phone line. The words appear on the screen to sing along with as the music plays in the background. The recorded duet can then be sent to a friend in a Christmas e-card with an anima-tion of a dancing Elvis. For users preferring to leave the singing to the professionals, Presley and McBride's 'Blue Christmas' album version of the duet is also available to send in the e-card.

The concept of http://www.singwiththeking.com is built around engaging and entertaining the user while encouraging them to share content. Launching at the start of December, the site has already had over 100,000 unique visitors in the three weeks up to Christmas and, according to leading branding and advertising blog ThirdWay, "expects it (the site) to be among the top-10 virals this holiday season".

Sebastian Jespersen, CEO of VerticPortals, adds: "We are delighted to be working with Sony BMG on such a successful campaign. With the music industry's current frailties in offline promotion, Sony BMG has a great understanding that digital marketing's potential can truly impact their sales. At this time of year in the run-up to Christmas there is a over-saturation of online games and activities that try to capture the users' attention; that is why we had to have something that really stood out in terms of cutting-edge technology. The use of mobile phone, when integrated correctly in a digital campaign as in this solution, can provide that extra engagement that means the user ultimately stays with this rather than the many other online marketing efforts of the season.

With a high level of involvement and engagement, this causes the viral effect and consistently pro-duces a higher likelihood of the user ultimately buying the CD. The combination of a seasonal greeting card together with the ability to sing with the king has encouraged the high number of users and enabled the campaign to really take off."

In addition to recording a duet with Elvis, the site invites users to watch the Elvis and Martina McBride 'Blue Christmas' music video, and to listen to a number of duets from the newly released album. The success of the work has led to further projects between Sony BMG and VerticPortals, including a similar site for Mariah Carey and her upcoming "The Ballads" CD for Valentine's Day.

Operating out of Copenhagen and New York, VerticPortals counts Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Medtronic, Harman Consumer, GlaxoSmithKline, Carlsberg and Nestle amongst its clients.

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Laurence Lipworth
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