Microsoft announced a partnership Monday between Bing and Rap artist J-Z to promote his upcoming book, “Decoded.” How does a search engine get involved in this promotion you might ask? Well, this will involve a multi-platform search and an interactive game experience. The scheduled release of the book is to occur on Nov. 16, but Bing will distribute all 350 pages at hidden locations in the real world as well as online through Bing Maps. So fans can go to Bing.com/JAY-Z to crack the clues then locate and compile the pages. This process continued in batches every day until the book’s release.
A new way to promote a book
Rapper JAY-Z, in an autobiographical setting, traces his life from childhood to hip-hop superstardom. For his fans, he also describes the hidden meanings behind some of his songs. So over the next four weeks, each of the book’s 350 pages will be placed around the world from in locations related to the content. If the rap-artist describes an incident in New York, for example, that page will be placed in New York.
According to Ryan Cameron, a senior marketing manager for Bing, states that this campaign is designed to be a new and innovative combination of an anticipated book from a musical celebrity with the technologies from Bing. His publishers claim this campaign will drive one of the boldest and aggressive book launches in history.
Using the website “Decode JAY-Z with Bing” fans can find clues to the pages’ whereabouts. They can follow that up by looking for the pages in the real world. There the clues will be placed in hundreds of traditional and nontraditional advertising locations such as pools, pool tables, high-fashion clothing racks, and bronze plaques. If the fans find the page, they will win an opportunity to have that page signed by JAY-Z. More than 200 prizes are in the mix. The grand prize is a trip to see JAY-Z and Coldplay in concert on New Year’s Eve.
The Bing experience is one that Microsoft is hoping to meet with enthusiasm. Microsoft anticipates that the promotion introduces Bing to new consumers. JAY-Z, they hope, will appeal to many audiences. He is a well-known figure for many demographics that also are heavy searchers. According to Microsoft, their research shows that both Gen Y (those in the 18 to 24 age group) and African Americans are much more active searchers online compared to the general Internet population. Furthermore, 18-24 year olds consume 61 percent more search pages online than average, whereas African-American users view 29 percent more search pages.