Over the past decade and a half, with the advent and then explosion of reality TV and user generated content, companies and media outlets have realized that the best way to give an audience what they want is simply to ask them.
American Idol, one of the premiere reality TV shows, has teamed up with Coca-Cola, an experienced veteran in corporate crowdsourcing, and pop star Carly Rae Jepsen, to create a fan-generated song.
In a unique collaboration called the ‘Perfect Harmony’ project, fans will have the opportunity to vote on lyrics for a new song that Jepsen is creating. Fans can connect with the project through Facebook, where they’re given a chance each week, until the American Idol finale, to vote on lyrics for a song tentatively titled ‘Take a Picture.’ By casting their vote, fans are given access to exclusive video content, song clips, and are entered for the chance to win a trip to the American Idol finale or other Coca-Cola and American Idol prizes.
Jepsen is set to perform the new song during the American Idol finale, which is in May.
This is an interesting initiative for a couple of reasons. First, choosing Jepsen as the star talent, rather than a past American Idol contestant, speaks volumes about what ‘Perfect Harmony’ is attempting to achieve socially and digitally. It is likely that the social media and pop culture success of Jepsen’s hit ‘Call Me Maybe’ last spring has Coke and American Idol executives hoping a similar result can be achieved through this new, crowdsourced song.
Second, the program was very smartly developed to have fans coming back every week, for the next month and a half, to vote on new aspects of the song and unlock new content. The continuous fan engagement makes it easier to develop a stronger relationship between brand and consumer.
And lastly, Coke and American Idol made certain to exert restraints on the creative development of the song to keep from losing control of the project, which can easily happen with crowdsourced material. Rather than asking for user generated lyric suggestions, fans can merely vote on content that has already been developed by Jepsen and approved by the program. Nonetheless, an interesting idea.
Check out the video below to see the options for this week’s round of voting, and visit the ‘Perfect Harmony’ site to cast your vote – possibly helping write the next hit pop song.