Pump Up the Sounds: Verizon Launches Online Interactive Beatbox Mixer
Supports Verizon’s ’Richer, Deeper, Broader’ Branding Theme With Real-Time Impact of a Powerful Broadband Experience
July 19, 2006, NEW YORK - As Web-based activities continue to morph into more intense and interactive experiences, Verizon today launched the Verizon Beatbox Mixer, an interactive video and music tool that puts performances of famous beatbox musicians in the control of Web-site visitors.
Located on Verizon’s broadband portal, www.richerdeeperbroader.com, the beatbox mixer is a cutting-edge cross between a music video, a video game and a drum machine.
It lets users combine digitally recorded video tracks (or “beats”) from artists into mixes of their own. Beatboxing is a form of music that started the hip-hop and rap genre in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Also known as human orchestration, beatboxing composes rhythms and sound effects created with the mouth, tongue and throat.
The Verizon Beatbox Mixer is a first-of-its-kind Web site, blending an audio mixer video showing the performers of each “beat” or track as they perform the player’s mix. The concept, executed for Verizon by R/GA, Verizon’s long-term digital agency, supports Verizon’s corporate brand theme, “Richer, Deeper, Broader,” and is intended to show people how powerful broadband is, while pushing the capabilities of the Web to its limits. R/GA used its broad knowledge of emerging consumer trends, technological expertise, and extensive background in creating engaging video experiences to make the Verizon Beatbox Mixer a reality.
“Verizon wants to show the world that broadband is much more than just e-mails, downloading photos and surfing the Internet,” said Andrea Fant-Hobbs, vice president of brand management at Verizon. “It is the platform to collaborate, to create and to share. And it enables you to move your imagination forward as if you are right there in the action.”
Brian Price, executive director of Verizon’s Online Center of Excellence, said, “The Verizon Beatbox Mixer is an engaging, interactive tool that again demonstrates our passion for the creation of the richest experience possible. It gives the user a full experience - a visual and aural experience as if the user is in a recording studio creating these mixes with the beatboxers. These beatbox sounds are unique and have a universal appeal because the sounds are fascinating and are made vocally without any instruments. Adding to the fun, the individual mixes can be saved and e-mailed to friends.”
Five of the best beatboxers in the country were selected with help from Terry “Kid Lucky” Lewis, founder of Beatboxer Entertainment, the nation’s first human beatboxing production company. Each beatboxer recorded dozens of beats, or vocally generated rhythms: Rahzel from The Roots headlines the site. Click Tha Supah Latin has worked on the hit movie “8 Mile,” was featured in a beatboxing documentary, “Breath Control,” and gives beatbox performances with his three children. Masai Electro, beatboxing for over 15 years, has worked with Missy Elliott, The Neptunes and Jermaine Dupree. Butterscotch is a student at Sacramento State University and last year’s Female Beatboxing Champion at the Hip-Hop World Challenge in Germany. Max B., a high school science teacher, has been beatboxing since he was eight years old and demonstrates how to beatbox through an online learning tool he developed. New York-based beatboxer Baba Israel was selected as the voice of the tour guide on the Verizon Beatbox Mixer back story.
Visitors to www.richerdeeperbroader.com/beatbox can create, save and share their own performances, listen to those created by the beatboxing artists themselves, or listen to the most popular ones created. When mixing their own, users can select combinations of the beatboxers and, in real time, manipulate the various beats they recorded -- providing for millions of unique performances.
“Giving the visitor control to play with and create high-quality beatboxing music videos was critical for the success of this project,” said Richard Marks, group account director at R/GA. “Verizon Beatbox Mixer is an interactive experience that marries technology with entertainment in a whole new way. It’s a tremendous Verizon brand experience.”
The Verizon Beatbox Mixer was created as part of Verizon’s ongoing “Richer, Deeper, Broader” campaign. The Web site for this campaign, www.richerdeeperbroader.com, also created by R/GA, has been recently revamped with a new contemporary look for the home page, with features that speak to everyone’s passion in such areas as music, movies, technology and more. It showcases experiences that are enabled by Verizon’s broadband and entertainment products and services. Visitors can explore “Broadband Stories” (a digital documentary about the impact of broadband on people’s lives), “Broadband Films” (an artistic look via short films at the transformational nature of broadband), and also a new portal at www.verizonfios.com focused on Verizon’s new revolutionary fiber-optic network that is connected directly to homes and businesses. These online activities complement the offline projects tied to the vigorous relaunch of the “Richer, Deeper, Broader” campaign that are being created now. The campaign’s commercials will be ready to air by the end of the month.
R/GA (www.rga.com), the agency for the digital age, works with many Fortune 500 companies and world-class brands such as Avaya, Lowe’s, Nokia, Nestle Purina, Subaru, Verizon, and Verizon Wireless. R/GA transforms the way customers interact with brands by creating user-centric experiences that sell products, engage customers, and build brands across channels. Founded in 1977, R/GA has received the top creative awards for film, broadcast, and interactive. R/GA is part of The Interpublic Group (NYSE:IPG), one of the world’s largest advertising and marketing services organizations.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, serving 53 million customers nationwide. Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks. Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation’s most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
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