Jay-Z Decoded: a location-based story

Jay-Z has developed an innovative new location-based scavenger-hunt game in order to promote the release of his upcoming book, ‘Decoded’.

Although the book isn’t hit the shelves until 16th November, the singer is ramping up interest in a unique partnership with Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

Physical pages from the new book have been placed in real world locations across the globe – although the majority will apparently be popping up in New York locations. Each placement ties in direct to destinations that relate to the singer’s life as told in the new book and utilises Bing Maps and Bing Entertainment.

Those who discover these book extracts – of which there are over 300 - are invited to claim the pages and decode the clues online in order to win tickets to win two tickets to a Jay-Z/Coldplay concert in Las Vegas. In addition, 200 copies of the book are up for grabs, including signed copies of the pages they have located.

“Pages will be placed in locations related to the content, so that’s everything from high profile advertising like billboards to very, very unique placements such as swimming pools and pool tables, and even high-fashion designer clothing racks,” stated Bing spokeswoman Lisa Gurry.

The fairly basic sweepstakes grand prize of a couple of tickets feels a little flat considering the amount of engagement required from those participating, However, it’s certainly a clever and deeply engaging campaign that enables Bing to reach an extended audience of music fans, and have them play with the brand’s various online features.

The campaign is even more impressive when you consider that this is a marketing exercise for a very traditional physical product.

Could this be the start of a new story for the often highly traditional and reserved marketing of the written word?

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