To put the latest generation of true wireless JBL Earbuds as a star product on the growing personal audio market, JBL asked us to develop an activation aimed explicitly at their core community of students. After the lengthy lockdown, they felt an intense need to party more than ever.
No better way to bring an emotional experience than throwing a big party. But not just any party. We created the ‘JBL Hidden Vibes’: the first silent parties of the American audio manufacturer that gave young people the opportunity to party with the wireless JBL Earbuds in locations where you normally cannot or are not allowed to have a party. Because JBL, as the market leader in audio experience, wants to offer the best sound experience, always and everywhere. We scouted unique locations in several Flemish college towns that are normally not allowed for heavy sound installations, loudspeakers and partying all the way. For instance, the first edition of ‘JBL Hidden Vibes’ took place in the cellars of the spectacular Geeraard De Duivelsteen in Ghent, which are normally not accessible to the public. Silent parties followed in Antwerp and Leuven.
These parties were even more unique because their location was not immediately disclosed. Tickets were not for sale, but people had to win them. They had to guess the hidden location using GPS coordinates that could be spotted around the city and on social media. The winning ticket was the correct GPS coordinates of the silent party’s location. The GPS coordinates were distributed via wild postering and stickering, flyering, bicycle hangers and online via the social channels of JBL, retailers and influencers. TAGMAG and TOPradio were also deployed. One could win a duo ticket for these exclusive parties by entering the correct coordinates on a dedicated website.
The technical realisation was a difficult feat and was no less than a world première. Silent discos usually work with a fixed FM transmitter on headphones. However, at the “JBL Hidden Vibes”, everyone listens via their smartphones linked with JBL Earbuds to the same synchronously streamed signal via a local server with high-end sound processing. Such a set-up was never used before. Moreover, the DJ sets were also streamed synchronously via TOPradio and TAGMAG using the same sound processing for those who stayed at home.
The campaign ran entirely on local ‘urban’ touchpoints and targeted social media. The first edition in Ghent immediately proved to be a success: about 900 unique people visited the online platform several times, and a select group of 200 partygoers – because it had to be exclusive – experienced a superb silent party thanks to JBL.