Deb Archambault and Nir Refuah discuss the currency of Universal Love at the Northside Festival
Executive producer Deb Archambault and Executive Creative Director Nir Refuah had the honor of speaking on a panel at the Northside Festival this past Friday. The Northside Festival is a five day event in Brooklyn every June where trendsetters uncover the future of music, innovations and content. Deb and Nir discussed the currency of Universal Love, their journey creating this project and some surprising results.
Over the past year, MGM has been making a critical shift repositioning themselves from a group of Las Vegas hotels and casinos to a global entertainment brand. Their mission is to entertain the human race and to act on this mission, MGM and McCann created the idea of Universal Love. While MGM is known as the wedding capital of the world, it is not necessarily the top destination for LGBTQ weddings. Since MGM believes entertainment is for all and traditionally love songs have always been written from a heterosexual point of view, they saw the perfect tie to show that MGM and Las Vegas are truly about inclusivity. On April 5th, six songs were released on all streaming platforms and 10,000 limited-edition vinyl records were sold around the country during National Record Store Day.
Since the launch was absent of traditional media, the UL team relied heavily on PR to spread the word. There was an exclusive launch piece in the NY Times Style section, a Rolling Stone launch piece, and other attention form major publications in music, culture, entertainment and the LGBTQ community. The artists were also so passionate about the project that it made sense to have them use their social media platforms to spread Universal Love to their fan base as well. Universal Love garnered over 2.5 billion media impressions across 59 countries in major online, print, broadcast and radio outlets.
Additional press followed that came as a great surprise. Kesha proposed filming a music video for her song where she officiated a same-sex wedding in Las Vegas. Ben Gibbard had the opportunity to perform his song live on Conan. Zooey Deschanel and her band, “She & Him” were so inspired by the album that they wrote and performed the first original song to continue the project. This was a testament to how the music industry can further embrace diversity and openness.