Decoding the new marketing

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Launching a new product or campaign in this cluttered world is tough. In developed markets like the US, it’s even tougher. The low attention span and high sophistication levels of consumers is forcing marketers to consider newer ways of reaching out to their audiences. We saw the example of Jet Blue, where they resorted to ‘reality’ TVCs, as it were.

Even with the launch of books we are seeing adoption of  technology, usage of new media and sophisticated social media practices . Stephen Fry broke new grounds by making his autobiography an interactive experience through the myFry iPhone app.  Now comes the launch of Decoded, the autobiography of Jay-Z.

According to Fast Company:

Jay initially hooked up with the creative agency Droga5, who conceived, created, implemented, produced, and delivered the campaign with the help of Microsoft search engine Bing. Droga5 slapped all 320 pages of Decoded in various blown-up sizes on some unexpected surfaces: a rooftop in New Orleans, a pool bottom in Miami (above), cheeseburger wrappers in New York City, a pool table in Jay’s 40/40 Club, and many more.

A page mentioning Jay-Z’s early childhood bike riding experiences was showcased on a custom bike in a shop located near his old neighborhood in Brooklyn.

A black leather Gucci for Decoded jacket. Images sourced from Fast Company.

Moreover, fans could log on to between Oct. 18 and Nov. 20 and follow clues to Bing Maps locations and real life places where text from the book was blown up bigger than life or layered onto a guitar, onto records in jukeboxes, or onto a 1980s Cadillac parked in front of a Run-DMC mural in Queens. The most dedicated followers could read the whole book for free weeks before it came out. Plus, anyone who unlocked a page online or in person (by texting a code located on the physical page) was entered to win that page signed by Jay-Z or tickets to a Jay-Z/Coldplay New Year’s Eve concert in Las Vegas.

What works for me: the rejection of conventional media as a solution; the vast pool of passionate fans for the ‘brand’, the seamless integration of various media channels – from on-ground to search engines, the balance of effort (to search for the clues) and ease of use, the involvement it generates from fans. And as @rimeswithcya said, a client who is a true partner. While we have a long way to go in India with such use of new media, its inspiring nevertheless.

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