Droga5 New York goes all out in its launch of Jay-Z's upcoming memoir Decoded with a massive multiplatform campaign that takes every page of the book and brings it back to its birthplace, literally. The book, published out of Random House imprint Spiegel and Grau, is set to release on November 16. Until then, the campaign will recreate each book page on a traditional outdoor, or not so conventional space—think billboard, the lining of a suit, or bottom of a pool—all of it relevant to where the contents of each page originally took place.
"We've made canvases out of some pretty extraordinary places," says Droga5 Creative Chairman David Droga. "We've turned everything into outdoor—350 pages are outdoor and another 100 and 150 are things that money can't buy." The latter will involve some familiar other big names, which at press time Droga could not disclose. "A lot of other big global brands and icons have stepped up to turn themselves into canvases," he says.
"We're trying to do something that's consistent with the Jay-Z brand," Droga explains. "He does all these incredibly bold things in the music industry. He wants to do the same thing to the publishing industry. What's bolder than putting every single page of your book out in the real world, so if someone wanted to read it or discover it, they don't have to buy the book? He's so confident that the story's compelling, the reader will get so caught up in looking at this that they'll want to buy the book."
But fans need not be as jet-setting as Jay-Z to see each execution. A partnership with Bing maps gives the audience a chance to search for each page online via a scavenger hunt, which will provide daily clues to each of the various page locations. "I'd seen that Bing maps presentation from TED, which was extraordinary, and thought, Imagine if we could lay that over the top and suddenly you've got something that's global," says Droga. "You could be sitting in Arkansas and you could walk in the streets of Brooklyn." The agency had been in talks over the last year and a half with Bing to do a nontraditional promotion and finally found an opportunity when the book project came up.
The thrill of the search and book pages aren't the game's only rewards, however. The First players to find a page get a hard copy of the book with that page signed by the artist himself, and all will get thrown into a draw for the grand prize, a ticket to see Jay-Z and Coldplay in concert on New Year's in Vegas.