Jasmine Villegas and Internet Explorer Invite Fans to Be Part of New Interactive Music Video Experience

*Fans take center stage and become part of the action in new HTML5 music video.*

REDMOND, Wash. — Fans of recording artist Jasmine Villegas have a new way to immerse themselves in her music as they become part of the new video for her hit song, “Just a Friend.” Villegas (known simply as Jasmine) partnered with Internet Explorer and the interactive storytellers at Digital Kitchen to create a highly interactive music video that tailors the experience to each viewer, giving everyone the opportunity to influence the outcome of the storyline, see their own Facebook photos throughout the video and even “talk” to Jasmine herself.

The new video, available at JustaFriend.ie, is the first to bring together a variety of interactive features into one online experience. After logging in with their Facebook account, fans will immediately notice familiar photos appear on the navigation page and throughout the video. The teams at Internet Explorer and Digital Kitchen designed the experience so that people feel as though they are actually hanging out with Jasmine — they can go bowling with her and her friends, help her keep tabs on her cheating boyfriend, and even go dancing with her at a party.

Keeping in touch with fans has always been a priority for Jasmine, who has been performing for more than a decade, building a dedicated teen following through YouTube, Facebook and Twitter — where she has more than 1 million followers. In 2011, Klout named her the No. 9 most influential musician and the No. 8 top woman on Twitter. Jasmine has managed to stay connected with her fans via social media throughout her career — as she’s grown, so have they, and now she’s excited to share this experience with them.

“I think this type of video will bring me closer to everyone who enjoys my music,” Jasmine says. “It’s not possible for me to meet all of my fans in person, but this is a new and fun way for them to feel connected to me. A lot of my fans use Facebook, and if they sign in with their account, their pictures will appear in a few spots in the video, and they can receive phone calls from me, too.”

Jasmine Villegas, teen music sensation and star of "JustaFriend.ie." Image credit: Microsoft

One of the most unique aspects of the video is an actual phone call from Jasmine at the end. After watching the video, fans can dial their own number from her phone on the site to have a brief “conversation” with her — a conversation that changes based on what they did during the video. Technology embedded in the site enables VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calling to mobile telephone numbers through the Web.

The interactive experience features all new video footage and a completely new version of the song, remixed by Netherlands-based DJ Chuckie, the international dance-scene mix master known for explosive beats and surprise effects.

“I’m excited about the release of Jasmine’s ‘Just a Friend’,” Chuckie says. “Not just because it’s my remix but also because the technology behind it will change the way musicians interact with their fans.”

JustaFriend.ie is the latest in a series of online experiences, including Cut the Rope and the Hunger Games Capitol Tour, made possible by the Internet Explorer team. For the new “Just a Friend” release, the team wanted to experiment with the traditional concept of music videos and give fans a choose-your-own-adventure type of experience.

“All of the online experiences we are creating are designed to challenge conventional thinking about what’s possible on the Web, whether it’s for online gaming, movies or now music,” said Ryan Gavin, general manager for the Internet Explorer team. “In this case, we wanted to show a dramatically different take on a music video that puts the focus on the fans and the music. As part of this, we also continued our focus on using HTLM5 to ensure the best possible experience for everyone.”

Combining the power of HTML5 with Internet Explorer 9 opens up new possibilities on the Web, enabling immersive, highly attractive experiences. HTML5 allows developers to create cleaner online content using fewer plug-ins to achieve the same amount of visual appeal and back-end practicality, which translates into better experiences for those visiting HTML5-based sites. Although the site works in all major browsers, it is best on Internet Explorer 9 thanks to its hardware acceleration, which ensures supersmooth HTML5 video and crystal-clear HTML5 audio.

Those interested in learning more about how Digital Kitchen and the Internet Explorer team used HTML5 to bring the video to life can find out on the Exploring IE blog. There is also a full Behind the Scenes page on the site’s development available at https://www.justafriend.ie/dev.

While many people might be more interested in learning about the behind-the-scenes efforts, Jasmine is just eager for her fans to experience the new interactive video for themselves.

“I definitely think my fans are going to love it,” Jasmine says. “When I first watched it, I played it a good 10 times — because it’s like a video game! You want to play it over and over again just to see the different choices.”

To create your own personalized music video, check out JustaFriend.ie.

*Source: Microsoft

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