Premium piano maker Steinway & Sons and global hotel group Hilton have teamed up to celebrate anniversary of John and Yoko’s bed-in peace protest with a initiative called ‘Piano For Peace’.
More innovative brand collaboration than traditional sponsorship, Piano For Peace takes place in the same room in the same hotel as John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s famous ‘Bed-In’.
During their honeymoon in 1969 the Beatles star and his new wife staged a peace protest by giving interviews from the bed of their room at the Hilton hotel in Amsterdam.
Steinway and Hilton have together installed a white grand piano from the piano maker’s limited edition Imagine Series as the centrepiece for the event.
The limited edition piano is modelled after the white Steinway piano that Lennon bought in 1971 and is decorated with original Lennon drawings.
With help from agency DDB Tribal Düsseldorf, a campaign-specific microsite directly links the scene/setting with the cyber community and via the computer keyboard of any and every web-enabled computer, people can play the piano from anywhere in the world with a custom built robot arm and send their own personal musical message of peace.
The initiative’s two-day first phase ran from 23 to 25 March and offered Lennon fans, ‘peaceniks’ and pianists the chance to play their own musical pieces on the piano – which are then recorded and uploaded on to the website (with an optional photo of the player).
On 26 March, the actual anniversary of the Bed-In itself, the songs will be played on the special edition piano, while the image of the respective pianist will appear on a screen above the historical bed.
The pieces played will be documented on the microsite and be available after the event.
“With ‘Piano for peace’ we commemorate the yet unattained goal, which John Lennon and Yoko Ono pursued in their authentic and unique way: peace in the world,” says Eric Schoeffler, Chief Creative Officer, DDB Tribal Group.
“We will not be able to achieve it either, but with the help of modern technical facilities and the enthusiasm of the people on the social web, we have the chance to take a symbolic stand. Transported by the only universal language of mankind – music.”
The microsite contains links for more information on the piano and to the Hilton Amsterdam.
Initially it may seem that Hilton and Steinway are even less likely bedfellows than John and Yoko, but by pooling their resources and their joint connection to the man and the event they have devised an engaging and compelling event.
Clever collaboration like this can create a de facto event sponsorship free from the cynicism and restrictions and accessible by pretty much anyone anywhere.
Steinway is often seen as an upmarket, even elitist brand, so what hipper and cooler way to reinforce your wider credibility among the music fraternity than leverage your genuine association with John Lennon?
It provides both an engaging, interactive experience, something to keep and a media hook for positive PR for both brands.
A downloadable album and accompanying aggregated video might add further to the initiative and provide a longer lifespan to the campaign.
A link with a peace-led charity might add further kudos too.