Jay-Z & Bing’s Transmedia Campaign

Cultural icon Jay-Z’s soon-to-be-released memoir “Decoded,” is a mashup of personal, musical and cultural history promises to be a genre-bending read. So it’s fitting that the campaign surrounding its release would also be equally genre-bending. Examples like this show that it’s starting to get more interesting out there.

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The places where promotion, advertising, marketing, communication can intersect and engage with consumers become much more exciting in a cross-media or transmedia landscape. In a great cross-promotion Bing and publisher Spiegel & Grau have teamed up to get the word out on the streets through a highly creative cross-media campaign orchestrated by New York agency Droga5.

This article in the New York Times gives a good overview of the sprawling campaign and multi-level scavenger hunt. Driving the audience to use the Bing search engine to find clues, Jay-Z fans can be the first to locate one of the cleverly located re-created pages from his forthcoming book. In some instances the pages are printed as the felt of a pool table, as the wrapper of a hamburger, even on the bottom of the pool at Miami’s Delano Hotel. What makes this truly a cross or transmedia example is that the locations are chosen from actual instances in Jay-Z’s memoir. Fan’s who use Bing or physically search for the pages will visit the neighborhoods, businesses, parks, streets that Jay-Z frequented through his life and career.

It will be really interesting to see, as campaigns like this become more common, how the storytelling aspect evolves so that the participant is not just increasing his or her odds of winning a prize but is actually learning more about complete story through interactions with segments or parts of it.

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