As a long time partner, we were thrilled when our IBM clients approached us about creating a first-of-its-kind celebration of the achievements of IBM’s interns and the power of their generation to enact change. 

Together we created something entirely new; an energetic, virtual experience with a Gen Z audience at heart, centered around music from the first beat to the final track.


Insights and Actions

The internet is teeming with research into the Gen Z audience for this experience. This information was distilled into a set of insights that served as guideposts throughout the event, enabling us to make clear decisions based on our audience every step of the way.

  1. Diversity is essential 
  2. Brand ethics, including climate change and other issues, must be an anchor
  3. Digital natives demand good UX 
  4. Dynamic and quick moving programming 
  5. Hyper personalized for an audience with a work/play lifestyle



Tune In, Turn Up


Bringing in the musical theme from the first touch, we invited interns to the event with a chance to create their own remix through an interactive, personalized remix creation at the event website:

Registration included several questions that were used to personalize the creation of a summary song for the event by SongDivision, a group that creates interactive musical experiences. Branded details, from T-shirts and backdrops to custom Slack pictogram emojis, pulled the energy, look and feel through each touchpoint, from registration through the post event communications.


The Main Event

IBM’s first-ever Intern Awards ceremony made sure interns felt recognized and had the opportunity to support each other with dedicated award slides and shout-outs throughout the show.

An energetic DJ greeted the interns as they logged on to the platform, where they were able to make song requests as the energy built for the rest of the program. 

The SongDivision band would check in periodically between award announcements to share updates on the live creation of the song, which was happening simultaneously with the awards show. Slack channels and polls helped keep the interactivity going with the song creation and the overall event experience. 

The program was also interspersed with “Intern-views” with show hosts and IBM executives, and an IBM Watson expert demonstrated how GRAMMY Debates with Watson works. 

As an added surprise, the GRAMMY conversation segued into a three song performance by Grammy Award-winning band, Portugal. The Man, which was followed by a conversation with the band and hip-hop artist and activist X Martinez discussing climate change. 

To wrap it all up, SongDivision performed the summary song— created by all of the attendees! 

After the event, attendees received a thank you video from Portugal. The Man + X Martinez, along with access to the InTurn-Up playlist featuring the summary song they co-created, Portugal. The Man tracks and the DJ’s tunes to memorialize their intern experience.

Check out the customized song created just for the event below!