Amex Unstaged: Taylor Swift

The situation—

The Unstaged music platform continued to be a success for Amex, despite facing competition from the rise of streaming services. Looking to keep the momentum going, Amex needed a high-profile hit for their platform.

The challenge—

When the opportunity to partner with Taylor Swift arose, American Express approached the team at RadicalMedia to create a whole new type of UNSTAGED experience for the world's biggest pop star.

The solution—

An Emmy-winning 360° immersive experience, where fans inhabit the world of the Blank Space mansion, exploring hidden details and unlocking a series of clues to discover a unique gift from Taylor herself.


Designed for tablet and mobile devices, the app was architected with multiple viewings in mind: in addition to Taylor and her love interest, a collection of other actors provided a backstory to the main narrative, carefully choreographed direction and editing allowing them to seamlessly move about the virtual space of the mansion.

The narrative of the lovers was locked to the duration of the song, but the cast of supporting characters (or jilted exes?) engaged in their own activities across the rooms of the mansion: viewers could choose to follow the couple or hang back to see who might enter a room next and reveal the subtext of their true motivations.

Exploration of the 360˚ space could be achieved either through moving the device or swiping the screen—dimensional audio effects furthered the sense of space afforded hints when action might be happening just out of view.

The team engineered navigation guidance derived from visual cues found in console and mobile games: doors that led to other rooms pulsed gently when it was time to continue the story.


Adding a layer of gamification and social problem-solving, the experience contained dozens of hidden artifacts to discover, as well as a series of puzzles to solve, which unlocked a gift for her dedicated fans. Through Twitter and Tumblr, we watched fans share solutions with each other in real-time, collaborating on the final unlock.

Social sharing of discovered artifacts was facilitated directly through the app and a collection panel allowed viewers to keep track of what they had yet to find in the rooms of the mansion. 


To promote the launch, an ad campaign consisted of print, out-of-home, social, radio, and streaming ads, leading to over a million downloads in the first month, a challenging feat given the busy holiday season.


Behind the Scenes