Rockstar presses play with immersive Spotify concert series

Dive Brief:

  • PepsiCo’s Rockstar Energy Drink announced plans to launch a free, immersive in-app concert series on Spotify as part of its new “Press Play” brand platform, according to a press release
  • The series will run from July 21 to Aug. 4, inclusive of a virtual performance from musician and headliner Stormzy, with artists from France, Poland and Germany also set to take part. Central to the effort is five immersive, digital worlds that will accompany each headliner.
  • Additional plans include out-of-home viewing experiences in select locations in the U.K. and an exclusive Stormzy show later in the year for U.K.-based fans. The effort makes Rockstar and Spotify among the latest to explore virtual concerts following the rise of the metaverse. 

Dive Insight: 

With the energy drink landscape growing increasingly competitive, PepsiCo’s Rockstar Energy is vying to stand out through its “Press Play” platform, an initiative intended to empower consumers to embrace their passions, per release details. The brand’s Spotify tie-up could help solidify the platform by marrying innovative digital experiences to the music scene, a longtime cultural touchpoint.

“The in-app digital concert experience is explosive and truly captures the essence of the brand — helping to energize fans and facilitate their transition from work to play,” said Bart LaCount, vice president of international beverages marketing at PepsiCo, in a statement. 

The free concert series will kick-off on July 21 with Stormzy set to take the main stage to perform hits from his album, “This is What I Mean.” Five distinct digital worlds are at the core of the series, each which encompass gaming and nightlife themes meant to align with each unique artist’s “concept of play,” per release details. To access and navigate the realms, viewers during the concert can tap the “Press Play” icon.

In effort to make the experiences more easily accessible, Rockstar is releasing a British Sign Language edit of Stormzy’s performance on YouTube. The brand will also share additional versions from the event on YouTube, though viewers will not be able to move between worlds.

Paired with the digital efforts, Rockstar plans to offer out-of-home viewing experiences that will be available in select regional U.K. locations. Additionally, fans who purchase Rockstar or enter online via the brand’s website will have the chance to win tickets to Stormzy’s exclusive show slated for later this year.

Virtual concerts have started to pop up as marketing programs with the rise of the metaverse. Earlier this year, for instance, the NFL and Intuit teamed up to present a virtual concert featuring Saweetie on the Roblox platform. Universal Pictures and Snap staged a similar event to promote the Jennifer Lopez 2022 romantic comedy “Marry Me.”

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