If there’s one thing that today’s digital and participatory culture has shown us, it’s that people flock to where they can have in on the fun and involve themselves in the content they are consuming. Recognizing this, famed California rockers Linkin Park have come out with a creative music video that puts fans and their Facebook friends right in the center of the video’s storyline.
The “Lost in the Echo” video follows a man with a briefcase in what appears to be post-apocalyptic future. He then proceeds to opens his case revealing snapshots to on-screen characters, who then freak out in a craze of extreme emotions at the sight of these photos, which come directly from the Facebook accounts of the viewer and the viewer’s friends.
“The inspiration was to push the boundaries of music, video and fan engagement,” said Aaron Ray, head of digital at The Collective and responsible for the management of Linkin Park’s digital assets. “The fact that virtually nothing has changed in making videos in 25 years just seems that apathy has taken over. Linkin Park decided to do something risky and never done before.”
Ray tells us that the process to create the video took several months and went through many evolutions.
“The algorithms themselves were incredibly complicated when layered over the video and Facebook data,” he said. “There was a constant push and pull between design, functionality and ease of use.”
Ray mentioned that he and his team still need to solve things like embed issues, a universal programming language, optimization for mobile and internationalization in order to really take advantage of emerging visual technology.
“There are just so many types of people experiencing things in such diverse ways, it will always be a game of catch up,” Ray said. “The fan reaction has been good so far. It seemed to throw off some people at the beginning because they had never really seen something like this before, but now it seems that more and more fans are trying it and enjoying it.”
After playing it several times myself, the experience seemed to differ each time. Sometimes it worked as planned, with photos of me and my close friends that would cause contextually deep-rooted emotional responses. Other times however, I was presented with photos of people that I barely recognized, or odder yet, pictures of food and people’s pets, making the experience sometimes inadvertently hilarious.
Either way, the video is strong step forward for interactive content experiences and we are sure to see more of these sorts of initiatives executed as we move forward.
Head over to www.LostInTheEcho.com to see the video yourself!