Random House has partnered with Clear Channel Communications and Microsoft in a creative effort to promote Jay-Z’s first book, Decoded, a collection of his lyrics to be released this fall on their Spiegel & Grau imprint. According to The Times, the ad campaign will reproduce pages from the book, writ large on billboards and in quirkier locations, like on the felt of pool tables or at the bottom of a swimming pool.
Clues to the pages’ locations are offered on a map offered by Bing, Microsoft’s search engine. Users are given clues as to where they may find the ads, and those who find them first may be rewarded with either a signed copy of the book or tickets to see Jay-Z and Coldplay. In addition to the Bing promotion, Clear Channel will reportedly promote the book in unofficial ways on its radio stations.
As of this morning, the first two pages have been found somewhere in Chelsea. The clue that led fans there indicated that the pages could be found “In the NYC District where Jay and Leo saw Wale at the Highline,” which is a bit odd, not only because Chelsea’s a big place, but because it requires no prior knowledge of Jay-Z or New York to be solved. Or in other words, the rest of us can easily know where Jay’s lyrically at.
There’s no telling how widespread the promotion may be as The Times teases in a caption that the book will be promoted in this manner “around the country and beyond.”
David Droga, creative chairman of New York ad firm Droga5, is behind the campaign. You may recognize his name from Sarah Silverman’s “The Great Schlep” two years ago.
dduray [at] observer.com