Last updated on April 25, 2014 at 1:22 EDT

BBH ZAG Launches Playground Sessions

November 2, 2011

NEW YORK, Nov. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) and their brand invention business ZAG today announced the launch of Playground Sessions – a multi-million dollar initiative that changes the way people learn to play musical instruments. Playground Sessions is groundbreaking, downloadable learning software that revolutionizes the traditional piano lesson by incorporating gaming, pop music and social networking elements.

“Playground Sessions is essentially Rosetta Stone meets Guitar Hero,” said Chris Vance, Managing Director of ZAG US, a brand invention company that’s a fully owned subsidiary of BBH, an award-winning global creative company. “Starting with the keyboard, our technology merges learning and gaming in a way that has never been done. The resulting software makes learning more fun, engaging and in touch with what works best in this day and age. And by giving the user feedback that guides future learning, Playground Sessions takes music education to the next level.”

ZAG’s model of creating intellectual property and products within the creative machine that will make it a success, is a radical change for agencies and has far-reaching implications. “This is an exciting time for BBH and ZAG,” said BBH NY CEO Greg Andersen. “Playground Sessions is a carefully thought out product innovation targeting a void in the music landscape.”

Musicians, teachers and gaming experts were brought together to formulate the ‘Play to Learn Methodology,’ allowing anyone to learn the fundamentals of piano playing through popular top 40 songs such as ‘Halo,’ ‘Hey Soul Sister,’ ‘I’ll be there,’ and ‘Apologize,’ and elements of gaming like scoring, badges, progress visualization and the ability to share with and challenge friends.

BBH/ZAG partnered with YouTube piano sensation David Sides (158mmviews) and Rain, a leading digital creative software agency, to bring Playground Sessions to life. Sides created one-of-a-kind musical arrangements and leads users through video tutorials covering music theory, in addition to a variety of songs targeting different ability levels including rookie, intermediate and advanced. The lessons encompass four areas of music learning including keyboard pattern recognition, staff notation literacy, rhythmic competency and playing by ear.

“I am thrilled to be part of Playground Sessions and share my love of piano playing with the rest of the world,” Sides said. “I want to inspire a new generation and those who gave up on lessons when they were kids.”

Bringing extensive expertise in customized software development and in online digital sheet music, Utah-based Rain built the downloadable software application. Unlike other music gaming sold on store shelves, Rain President and CEO Andrew Howlett said he was attracted to the partnership with BBH/ZAG because Playground Sessions is a Web tool that is easily updated and upgraded.

“I was interested in the opportunity to partner our world class custom software skills with world class creative talent found at BBH. Add in a unique group like ZAG with hands on experience actually bringing products to market and you’ve got something special,” Howlett said. “With the use of this technology platform, we’ve been able to create an engaging product using social and gaming methodology making practicing the piano more fun and getting people to play the songs they want to learn faster. There’s just not any other product out there like Playground Sessions.”

Playground Sessions is available today for download at www.playgroundsessions.com for $149.00. The price includes a BootCamp training program and three free songs. Additional songs can be purchased from a downloaded music library for $6.00.

Consumers will also need to purchase a keyboard that has a USB or midi connection to connect to a computer in order to get the gaming and social elements such as real time feedback and progress visualization.

Playground Sessions offers great value for people who own acoustic pianos. The software uses video tutorials to walk through the BootCamp and Song Lessons so even if you’re keyboard is not connected to a computer you are still getting everything you need to learn to play.

About ZAG

In 2006, one of the world’s most famous advertising agencies, BBH, set up its own brand invention business, ZAG, to harness the Agency’s idea generating power to create brands and intellectual property that BBH could own. The ZAG model includes brand creation from scratch but also partnerships and equity or royalty deals with existing brands. To find out more visit www.zaginvention.com.

About BBH New York

BBH New York is an independent, full-service creative company with clients that include Axe, Bailey’s, BBC, British Airways, Google, Johnnie Walker, NYC & Company, Sprite, Vaseline, Westin Hotels & Resorts and World Gold Council. BBH NY has been named 4A’s U.S. Mid-Sized Agency of the Year four years running. Further information is available at our website, www.bartleboglehegarty.com.

About Rain

Rain is an internationally recognized and awarded digital creative software agency dedicated to providing clients with solutions that allow their customers to connect with them wherever they are, web, desktop or mobile. Clients include HP, Google, Ancestry.com, Sony Music, Universal Music, Hess, Corona, Adobe and Skullcandy. To find out more about Rain, visit www.mediarain.com


Source: PR Newswire