Peak Taylor Swift, as it turns out, has nothing to do with T-shirts, bleachers, Diet Coke ads or Instagram videos. There's an app for peak Taylor, and it's American Express Unstaged: Taylor Swift Experience, the best-selling pop star's "cinematic interactive musical experience," available for download on iPhone and Android.
Peak Taylor Swift constitutes spurned love, elegant gowns, mascara-streaked craziness (“craziness”) and a smooth-faced male model — in 360 degrees.
The American Express Unstaged: Taylor Swift Experience is next-level Taylor. The app opens on an interactive tour of the aristocratic world of Swift's "Blank Space" music video.
The Experience walks you through the mansion at the center of the music video, a grand marble palace complete with stables, a terrace and a hot gardener. (This is a Taylor Swift video, so of course there’s a hot gardener.)
As you navigate the interior (you can't go outside, sadly), the video’s plot swirls around you: Taylor and Sean locking eyes on the staircase, Taylor and Sean dancing in the library, Taylor smashing everything in a jealous rage, Taylor crying by the fireplace as the butler ignores her.
As pointed out by The Verge, the whole thing glows with a Myst-like aura: you're led to different doors leading to different rooms, and by clicking on journals, photos and more, you unlock various music video Easter eggs.
These 41 “collectibles” are hidden for app users to discover, and they include a framed photo of Swift’s own cat, a jewelry box, a glass bowl of roses, and a black-and-white picture of T-Swizzle wielding an ax, a mysterious record player (who is Marjorie Friday?! [it's Taylor's maternal grandmother, who was an opera singer many decades ago!]).
Each "collectible" appears to unveil new twists and turns in the video's plot: an incriminating text message (gasp!) or a gardener harboring a secret crush. (This is a Taylor Swift video, so of course the hot gardener is in love with her.)
“Blank Space” begins playing from the moment you “enter” the mansion, and you're kicked out of the experience once the song ends — meaning that you have to revisit the experience again and again to find all the collectibles. (So smart, that Swift.)
Once you unlock one collectible, you can share it with your Facebook friends to help in the hunt for the rest of them. Again, classic Swift: Fans helping fans in their fandom.
Remember when she teased new tracks with Instagram clues? How little we expected back then.