MMC Studios realize world's first live sports event for primetime advertising

More viewers than at the World Cup semi-final: "Das große Osterhasen-Rasen" from MMC Studios was the first live advertising event to be broadcast simultaneously on nine of Germany's biggest private stations and on the Internet. At the same time, this was the world's first live sports event for primetime advertising.

For the organizer Media Markt, the campaign was a complete success. In addition, the Easter Bunny Lawn has now been launched at the Cannes Lions Festival with a Golden Lion excellent.

"The Great Easter Bunny Lawn"
On April 1, 2, and 4, 2015, Europe's leading consumer electronics retailer Media Markt held "The Great Easter Bunny Race" at MMC Studios. The races between ten Easter bunnies were broadcast live in prime time, for the first time on German TV on nine of the biggest private TV stations simultaneously as well as on the Internet.

The races determined which Media Markt customers would win half of their purchase. The cash register receipt on the evening of the respective shopping day served as the betting slip for the race day.

In addition to all the fun, however, there was one thing that was most important during this event: professional care for the stars. For this reason, the rabbits were cared for by renowned animal trainer Renate Hiltl, who lovingly looked after the animals' well-being.

For the first time, Media Markt did not stage a classic campaign for Easter, but instead relied on a completely new, innovative live advertising format. MMC Studios was responsible for the technical production and broadcast of this event, which is unique in its type and size worldwide, on behalf of Endemol beyond. The development and implementation of the Media Markt Easter campaign was entrusted to Ogilvy & Mather, which just won a Golden Lion and other awards for it at the 62nd Cannes Lions Festival.

Production and live broadcast in prime time on TV and the Internet
The three live broadcasts, each lasting two minutes, were hosted by cult sports commentator Frank Buschmann.

The start on TV was punctually at 8:12 p.m. on all three race days. The Easter Bunny races were then broadcast live and simultaneously on a total of nine TV channels. The animal sporting event could be seen on RTL, SUPER RTL, RTL NITRO, VOX, n-tv, SAT.1, ProSieben, kabel eins and Disney Channel.

In addition, the races were broadcast live on, and on the YouTube home page. Pre- and post-race coverage on the web from 8:07 to 8:20 p.m. was also provided on

MMC Studios was responsible for the technical production, broadcasting and live streaming of this special Easter event on behalf of Endemol beyond.

Nico Roden, Director Sales & Production at MMC Studios, explains: "MMC has been adapting to the requirements of cross-media productions for some time now. The production 'Easter Bunny Lawn' with its extreme bandwidth variations and various distribution channels shows us that we have our finger on the pulse here."

During the production of the live event, directed by Mark Achterberg, a total of 7 cameras in the MMC Studio 35 for use.

These included two Grass Valley (GVG) LDK 8000 cameras on studio pedestals, a GVG LDK 8300 Super SloMo camera, a GVG LDK 8000 on a camera crane, a GVG LDK 8000 elite wireless as a Steadicam, an LDX compact mounted in a rig under the studio ceiling for oversight of the race arena, and a Crosscast X-Fusion high-speed camera running at up to 350 fps for the finish images.

The mixing of the image signals was done in the HD control room 11 of MMC on a GVG Kayenne XL (3.5 M/E). Feeding was realized with a Grass Valley Summit Server. An EVS XT2 provided the Super SloMo feeds, and a Sony XDCAM-MAZ and five ingest system channels were available for recording.

In the audio area, a Sennheiser DIGITAL 9000 wireless microphone system with DPA 4066 lip mics was used for wireless microphony and wireless in-ear monitoring, as well as Sennheiser SR 2050 return receivers. The audio mixing was done in the MMC sound control room on a Lawo mc²56 console.

Besides the TV production and broadcast MMC Studios were also responsible for the Live streaming responsible. Streaming of the 720p HD signals was done with the help of a Digital Rapids encoder. For clips that were to be available on demand on the Internet after the live event, the respective re-cut was edited in two edit suites of the MMC post production realized. Thanks to the proven and sought-after MMC Live Editing Services (Frame-Chase Editing) the editing of the live material could already be started during the recording.

In the production planning and execution of this innovative live advertising format, the MMC Studios the star point for communication and organizationso that the organizers could benefit in particular from the advice of MMC's live-event-experienced crew. The project management on the side of MMC Studios was done by MMC's Account Manager Maria Lorf.

The department MMC Studios equipment was at "The Great Easter Bunny Lawn" for the Stage and decoration construction responsible. A complete racing arena was built in MMC Studio 35, including a 16 m long and 5 m wide racetrack, 250 m² artificial turf surface with lane division, 150 m² tartan track, pit lane, as well as timing system with light barriers, GPI receiver and time display.

The racetrack was surrounded by a 500m² cape. Various digital prints with audience motifs completed the stadium look. In addition, MMC Ausstattung built a moderation desk for sports commentator Frank Buschmann out of PU foam in the shape of a large, red Easter egg to match the occasion. As project coordinator, Theo Kings managed the work areas of MMC Ausstattung.

Full success for "The Great Easter Bunny Lawn
With its Easter campaign, Media Markt hosted the world's first live sports event for a primetime advertising spot. With a total of 21 million viewers in the relevant TV target groups, the Easter Bunny race was also one of the biggest live sports events of the year and had more spectators than the semifinals of the soccer World Cup.

Media Markt also presented the idea for the event as an integrated communications package ranging from classic media to PR and social media, as well as a 12-page flyer on all channels. On and in the social media channels, for example, you could find not only all the information about the event, but also background information about the ten unique rabbit characters and various reports with the sports stars.

The Easter campaign achieved a net reach across all channels of more than 200 million contacts in the 14+ target group over the three campaign days.

During the Easter Bunny Lawn promotion period, Media Markt saw a 1400%ig increase in search traffic for the Media Markt brand on Google alone compared to last year's Easter promotion. Facebook also saw significant increases: In the communication period, there were 96,000 Facebook interactions on the Easter Bunny Lawn. The campaign also had a positive impact on Media Markt's Twitter channel, with the number of Twitter followers increasing by 208%.

About MMC Studios Köln GmbH:
With the Coloneum in Cologne, the privately managed MMC has one of the largest and most modern studio landscapes in Europe. MMC Studios are the hot spot for moving image productions in NRW. With its excellent studio infrastructure, state-of-the-art production technology, highly efficient post-production facilities, excellent set construction and experienced staff, MMC Studios Köln GmbH is the leading service provider for entertainment shows, daily soaps and series in Germany.

In addition, feature films with national and international stars as well as a wide variety of corporate events are produced at MMC Studios.

Web video formats are developed and produced in the company's own creative space. eSports and gaming events also find ideal production conditions at MMC. MMC had a total of 118 employees at the end of 2014.

Photo: The arena for "The Great Easter Bunny Chase" at MMC Studio 35. © Media Markt