Sick beats.

Savvy fashion sense.

The Ask:

Marry a groundbreaking new technology to a brand in need of its capabilities.  Through this partnership, develop something new that solves a problem, builds brand equity, and provides gag-worthy entertainment.

(Have fun.  Be useful.  Ideally, at the same time.)

The Technology:

Roli blocks are hyper-intuitive, electronic, music tools that allow you to build musical compositions with the tips of your fingers.  This modular music system allows you to create sound with 5D touch technology on a handheld block with an LED-illuminated surface.  Roli blocks are wireless, portable, and seamlessly integrate with your mobile device for easy editing and sharing.

Why We Love It:  Music Democratized

Music is a language that everyone understands but very few people speak.  And Roli imagined a brilliant solution: democratize music production with a pocket-sized instrument that empowers anyone to become a musician in an incredibly intuitive way.


Armed with a new technology we loved, went on the hunt to find an equally exciting brand partner to pair it with.  We thought about the variety of categories, companies, products and services that present an opportunity for democratization.  We wanted to discover something that felt youthful, energetic, and creative, just like Roli. And, eventually, we did.

The Brand Partner:


Like music, fashion is a language that is not easily understood by all. While everyone hopes their unique identity is reflected in the image they share with the world, many of us lack the confidence to have fun and make bold choices with our clothes. 

Urban Outfitters was the perfect choice for us because: 

  1. They serve a customer who takes joy in defining her own sense of style.
  2. They are a fashion retailer with a brand identity heavily shaped by music and culture.
  3. We knew we wanted to build a digital experience, and their online sales outpace in-store 2:1. 

It was more than just an opportunity for a memorable brand experience.  It made solid business sense, too.

The Concept & Prototype:





By using Roli blocks to create unique sounds that are then paired with Urban Outfitters apparel and accessories, Urbn Vibes will revolutionize how people shop for their style online.

The Classic Thermal Beanie has an associated sound clip that will be used to represent the item in a musical composition. 

Here is a collection of individual apparel items and their representative sound clips.  In essence, you can listen to your outfit to see if the various items play well together.  If it's not harmonious, you can silence an item and notice how the soundscape changes.

How can we win the trust of our users?

Good taste is subjective, and that makes it hard to trust others to make style choices for us.  We knew we needed to introduce some objectivity into the process, something that would legitimize Urban Vibes in the eyes of our users.  



The Trusted Expert

The expert is trusted for her unique and unapologetic sense of style.  She owns who she is in the bold choices they make with their fashion every day.  

  1. She is a purveyor of style and confidence.
  2. She matches the beats to the clothes.
  3. She determines if an outfit looks (and sounds) great.




    Testing & Perfecting:

    We began carting around our prototype to anyone that would agree to take a look. We spoke to friends, boyfriends, sisters, stylists, musicians, artists, and as many teenagers as we could find.  And the feedback was very helpful.


    Watch the launch video to see how our digital experience came to life. 


    In marrying Roli technology and the Urban Outfitters brand, we believe we created something that offers real value to its user, and a good bit of fun, too.


    Blake Smoral & Jenna Stout (Strategy), Moose (XD)