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Google Play / Capitol Records
Sam Smith


2014 was the year that Sam Smith shot to fame. His label Capitol Records and MediaCom challenged us to help make the launch of his debut album ‘In the Lonely Hour’ a big, big splash.


Knowing that Sam has an incredible voice, which sounds even better live, the best solution was to create the first ever live music ad break takeover. Teaming up with Google Play and Channel 4, we created a world first by broadcasting Sam live from the Roundhouse online, so viewers from around the world could tune in. But to create genuine cut through in the UK, as Sam sang his final song of the night (new single 'Stay With Me'), we broadcast live to the nation in a three and a half minute ad break on Channel 4 in the middle of Alan Carr’s Chatty Man. Alan introduced the spot leading into the break, turning the ad break into a must-see event.


1.3m live viewers watched Sam sing ‘Stay with Me’ on Channel 4, and 700,000 watched the gig online, creating over 2m total views. 100,000 viewers tuned in solely to watch the ad break on Channel 4.

The anticipation in social media channels and press coverage before and after the show was huge, and all contributed to driving a huge 101,000 sales in its first week, making 'In the Lonely Hour' the fastest selling debut album of 2014. At the 2014 MediaWeek awards, the campaign went on to win Gold and two Bronze awards.