A Piano Made From Mobile Phones

December 19, 2019 Max Murphy

Music is the Key

Covert x OnePlus

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From Concept To Execution

As a consumer, we have all enjoyed different brand experiences in our lifetimes. Beautifully constructed activations that generate wonder, amazement and have us itching to reach for our pocket-sized communicator to capture the moment and share it with the world. These experiences are what stops us in our tracks, something that goes beyond a product or a possession. It’s something to experience, to feel, it’s a moment to savour and it’s real.

With demand for these experiences increasing and the steps not often clear, we wanted to shine some light on how we get from A to B.

One of our recent digital endeavours saw us create an experience that brought people closer together with music and technology to celebrate the release of OnePlus’s latest handset. Here’s how we did it…

Our six stages of a successful activation

1. Experience

This is the key dictator of the whole activation. What do we want people to experience? Our answer was to create an experience of togetherness. A moment that could be enjoyed with friends, family or a complete stranger. To stand still in a moment of time and be brought together by the powerful combination of technology and music.

2. Ideation

Ideas time. We set our creative heads to work on different designs of the piano. These spanned from classical, modern and even conceptual designs. Working closely with agency and brand, we refined these ideas to optimise performance, impact and functionality.

Oneplus Piano 3d render

3. Development

With the design set, it came to the nitty gritty of how the piano would function. How would 17 phones link together and play with no delays? So much as a .5 second delay is noticeable to the untrained ear. Our development team got their heads down, they tried, tweaked and tested, until we had a working prototype. A cute mini version of just 4 phones. It was alive!

4. Production

With a signed off design and a working prototype of the application, we turned our heads to constructing the faux piano itself. Specific measurements and components were required to ensure the phones could be played like a traditional piano; extreme care was taken to create bespoke fittings.

Piano building phone workshop

5. Delivery

Working to tight deadlines is nothing new. But with a tour scheduled and working with bespoke and custom technology, there was no margin for error. We ensured we achieved this tight schedule by sticking to the previous points, working as one with the agency & brand and maintaining constant communication. It’s our culture.

6. Reaction

This is the best bit. What all of the hard work, stress and testing boils down to. Finally ready to introduce our creation to the public and have our talented pianist, karim, take the reins, we set up the piano for it’s first show in London.

It was amazing to see, from the first song to the last, passers by would stop and pause from their hectic schedules and were brought together to admire the sounds and atmosphere. Arms were held around partners, family members and friends, as they stood peacefully and revelled in the moment together.

It was amazing to see such genuine reactions when the passers by realised the piano was in fact made of mobile devices, as their ears could not tell the difference! These reactions continued across the European tour, wherever it visited, smiles and joy soon followed.

The activation gained significant traction both in person and online, with the official video clocking up over 800,000 views alone.