For the launch of his autobiography, hip-hop’s premiere entrepreneur turned marketing into interactive art. Jay-Z worked with Droga5, who conceived and executed the campaign with the help of Microsoft search engine Bing. I was the strategic lead on this campaign and with the creative team developed the architecture for how it would be executed.
Harvard Business School Case Study:
Effie Award Effectiveness Paper:
Jay-Z Decoded was an innovative way to help Microsofts search engine Bing create competitive advantage over its much more established and out-sized rival, Google. Bing needed to increase usage and position itself as a modern choice to a younger audience that was key to growing market share, but is highly suspect of advertising and product claims. We created a strategy that used demonstration of Bing products against a big canvas in cultural to achieve a real, quantifiable gain against Google and relevancy in the market.
At the same time we were approached by Jay-Z who was about to launch his autobiography, Decoded, and wanted to connect with his young audience in a new digitally driven way that would be on the scale of his album launches.
With one idea, we brought together two unlikely partners for mutual benefit.
Over the course of one month we created a real-life treasure hunt where 5-10 pages from the book would be placed everyday in a unique physical location around the globe that has direct relevancy to the individual page and literally have fans “walking the streets” from Jigga’s past. In addition to large scale posters and outdoor placements, we created many one of kind media places. Such as a Gucci leather jacket lined with a page, pages burnished on restaurant plates, a bronze plaque on Marcy Housing Projects where Jay-Z grew up, the bottom of a pool in Miami, etc.
We tied it all together online with a specially made Bing Maps and Search that allowed fans to find clues to reveal the exact location of the pages each day. The first to "claim" the page would win a signed copy of the page by Jay-Z and would be entered in a grand prize for lifetime tickets to Jay-Z's concerns.
The campaign only took a month’s time, but the resulting effects on popular culture are priceless.
I was part of the core leadership team from its initial development through its execution. I specifically led brand strategy and media architecture for the program.