It’s been too long since we had a good virtual concert. Fortunately, Snap, OZ, and Universal Pictures are about to deliver. Jennifer Lopez and Maluma will be performing a virtual concert to an audience of Bitmoji viewers on February 3 at 5 PM PST/ 8 PM EST in anticipation of the upcoming Marry Me.
A Quick Look at “Marry Me”
This article isn’t a promotion for the film (streaming only on Peacock on February 11), but to really understand some of the elements of the experience, some set-up might be helpful.
Marry Me is a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez and Maluma as fictional pop stars Kat Valdez and Bastian. The duo is set to be married live at a concert when Valdez discovers that Bastian is also seeing her assistant.
At the concert when Valdez was supposed to exchange vows with Bastian, she instead exchanges vows with a member of the audience. Due to a comedic mistake, she ends up marrying not a fan but rather a math teacher (played by Owen Wilson) who was at the concert with his daughter.
Now, about the experience.
The Virtual Concert From Snap, OZ, and Universal
Universal Pictures, the studio behind Marry Me, teamed up with Snap and interactive experiences company OZ. The interactive experience is a virtual concert featuring Jennifer Lopez and Maluma who will perform songs from the film on a virtual stage.
Not only the stage will be virtual. Lopez and Maluma will appear as avatars based on the fictional characters that they portray in the film. And, the audience will be virtual. You don’t need a Snapchat account to watch the virtual concert, but those who log in using their Snapchat accounts will be able to see their Bitmoji in the audience with other real, live viewers.
The Bitmoji crowd won’t just be static characters, mind. Virtual viewers will be able to trigger stage effects and express emotes, including some emotes that are were created just for the event, like dance moves, releasing doves, or starting a “wave.”
Part of the Picture
The virtual concert promises to be a fun experience on its own but it also fits into some interesting larger pictures.
Snap has been making the Bitmoji feature increasingly useful. This includes being able to play as your Bitmoji in games on the platform, but also making the Bitmoji available to Unity developers – an update announced at the 2021 Partner Summit.
The event may also be an interesting first for Snap. As more and more platforms position themselves for virtual events, “the camera company” may be opening the doors to more interactive virtual events themselves.
Finally, the virtual concert goes beyond promoting the film to contribute to its plot. Films about fictional celebrities face a roadblock by asking viewers to imagine familiarity with artists that they’ve never heard of. By having their virtual concert before the film releases, Universal lets fans immerse themselves in the world of the film and form attachments with its characters early.
I Want to See Owen Wilson’s Bitmoji
We’ve seen film studios partner with Snap to make lenses, and they’ve been cool. However, Universal is making a smart move by inviting future audiences to explore the music and characters of an upcoming film in such a fun and interactive way.