Spotify and Sony Music launch AR effect inspired by Wham!'s Last Christmas

Tyrone Stewart

Spotify and Sony Music have teamed up with Byte London to create an augmented reality (AR) effect that lets people transform themselves into a festive George Michael, as seen on the original cover of Wham!’s Last Christmas.

The Instagram experience is part of a campaign to get Last Christmas – the biggest selling song never to reach number one in the UK – to the UK Christmas number one spot. It gives users the chance to don George Michael’s 80s hairdo and earring, along with the Santa hat he wore on the cover of the record.

“We spend a lot of time helping our listeners discover things they didn’t know they’d love. But this time we wanted to create a reason for fans to reconnect with one of the greatest Christmas songs ever – which incredibly never made it to Christmas number one,” said Annika Walsh, UK/IE artist & label marketing lead at Spotify. “Maybe this effect might go some way to setting that record straight and, even if not, we know that people will have fun using it to celebrate this undeniable Wham! classic all the same.”

The campaign has been launched to coincide with the release of the song-inspired film that shares its name, starring the likes of Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson, Michelle Yeoh, Peter Serafinowicz, and Rob Delaney.

“We're always looking for new ways to bring George Michael's music to a younger generation on Spotify and the 35th anniversary of Last Christmas was the perfect opportunity to do so,” said Heidi Boston-Thompson, senior digital marketing manager at Sony Music Entertainment. “This Instagram AR filter allows the audience to have fun with the song in a unique way, giving existing core fans the chance to share their love, whilst opening up a new immersive discovery path to George and Wham! for potential new fans.”