Western Union launches digitized Western Union Singing Telegram with recording artists Snoop Dogg and Timbaland

2 January 2012


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a leader in global payments, launched Western Union® Singing Telegram SM, a new interactive online platform that allows consumers to create a personalized music video and virtual duet with international recording artists, in a collaboration with K'naan, Snoop Dogg, Sunidhi Chauhan and Timbaland.

The interactive online platform, www.wu-singingtelegram.com, enables consumers to emotionally connect with their loved ones when sending money and creates a digital singing telegram for music and tech lovers to perform virtually with a recording artist, and then send the video to friends and family via social networks. Consumers can create a singing telegram and select songs recorded by each performer, including:

• Mega-producer Timbaland performing "This Lady" and "Drummer Boy," as the first holiday song of his career, available Dec. 1

• Somali-born musician K'naan singing "Happy Birthday" and "Leaving on a Jet Plane," available Dec.

• Bollywood's most famous contemporary singer Sunidhi Chauhan performing "Call Me" and "Valentine" as her first songs in English, available Dec. 5

• 13-time Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg performing "Pretty Woman" and "Life of the Party," available Dec. 17


Diane Scott, chief marketing officer, and president, Western Union Ventures, said, "The Western Union Singing Telegram service creates a new way for consumers around the world to show their loved ones they care about them when sending the gift of cash this holiday season. The singing telegram is a natural fit for us to help consumers around the world virtually connect with their family and friends, giving them the gift of music, their personal image and voice, to make their day better."

The Western Union Singing Telegram, an online interactive platform enabling consumers to emotionally connect with their loved ones when sending money, combines virtual performances with recording artists with select access to BMG Rights Management music libraries. The Western Union Singing Telegram service could have a broader impact on the entertainment industry and how consumers interact with their favorite stars.

"Our enthusiastic involvement in the Western Union Singing Telegram campaign, spearheaded by our partner Venus Brown and Stone Buddah Music, best exemplifies BMG's desire to be at the cutting edge of new business opportunities working with leaders in their industry like Western Union," said Richard Blackstone, chief creative officer, BMG North America. "Venus' entrepreneurial instincts, married with Western Union's desire to provide the richest form of engagement for their customers, enabled this opportunity to create a groundbreaking music-driven, enhanced product."

180 Amsterdam, which is part of the 180 division of the Omnicom Group, developed the creative concept for the refreshed Western Union Singing Telegram in its role as the global creative agency of record for the company.

Western Union first introduced singing telegrams to the world on July 27, 1933. The first singing telegram was a birthday message sent from our office on 60 Hudson Street in New York City.

Western Union Singing Telegram service and Western Union World of Betters recently launched as two programs of many that align under "Moving Money for Better" branding concepts, focused on Western Union® products and services as solutions to create 'moments of better.' While sustaining the company's 160-year history of innovation and helping people improve lives, and connecting individuals and families around the world, the new branding elements depict visual timelines that invite consumers to be a part of the worldwide campaign.




How It Works:

To create a singing telegram, consumers should visit www.wu-singingtelegram.com or www.westernunion.com. Site users upload a photo of their face, select gender, and then pick an artist and song to sing along with the performer using lyrics streamed on the screen. Users can then review and watch their digitized performance with their face and voice on a human avatar, and then send the personalized duet to their family, loved ones and friends.