Recording Artist Jay Z and Electronic Giant Samsung Team Up to Increase Sales and Enhance Brand Awareness
During the 2013 NBA Finals Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs game 5, Samsung ran a commercial announcing that they would be releasing recording artist, Jay Z’s 12th studio album, Magna Carter Holy Grail, 3 days before its scheduled drop date of July 4th, exclusively to Samsung users only via a mobile app for Samsung Galaxy smartphones. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CseDIgPjSOE The app would not be available to all Samsung phones, nor to all Android users, specifically Samsung Galaxy end users only. The collaborative digital media marketing campaign was innovatively created to ultimately increase Samsung’s market share over Apple, who for years now- have dominated the smartphone industry, and to give recording artist Jay Z more control over the usual pre-release leak woes that may have soon plagued his much anticipated 12th album, in an industry where even children are able to gain access to not yet released music, movies and other digital forms of art via the internet. One of the three-minute ads shows Jay-Z working in the studio with Rick Rubin, Pharrell Williams, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland and reveling on making art in the modern world. The partnership as well as the digital campaign strategy would soon prove to break industry barriers, set new precedents and overall enhance the way marketers would think their 360° media campaigns through with even more digital integration.
There were a few goals of the dual marketing campaign as objectives for each stakeholder were different. For Jay Z, the goal is always to sell records but the artist who was quoted as saying “We don't have any rules, everybody is trying to figure it out." "That's why the internet is like the Wild West. We need to write the new rules," set out to better control the prerelease leakage of his album on his terms. The deal proves to certainly do so as he wanted to share the album with specific people, while giving them permission to pass it along by allowing them to share the download via social media, as well as to even email it. Samsung’s goal was less immediate transactional. Samsung, whose industry typically only allows for customers to upgrade phones with no penalties every 2 years via a new contract, wanted to heighten their brand awareness amongst smartphone users. They want the user to think of them for providing innovation and exclusivity to only its customers that other smart phone techs don’t do. They want the customer to feel like they are a part of an exclusive club much like iPhone users do, and purchase their products during contract renewal time.
With such a complex marketing campaign, a few strategies were deployed. For starters even the announcement of the campaign was unveiled with an unusually short lead time. Rapper Jay Z hinted about the announcement by posting a photo to his website of a Samsung phone displaying the message: NBA Finals Game Five – Tune In – Turn Up the Volume only a few days before the commercial ran. Shortly afterwards during Game 5 of the 2013 NBA Finals, just as promised, Samsung, ran an add that the company would offer the Magna Carta Holy Grail album free to a million Galaxy users, a whole 72 hours before its general release through a customized app exclusively on their devices. The announcement made even the iPhone cult wish for just a moment that they were subscribed to the Samsung Galaxy device to be one of the first to hear the much anticipated Jay Z album. On the fourth of July 2013, 3 days before the album’s slated release date, Samsung released an app that allowed 1 million of its users, on a firsts come first serve basis to download the Magna Carta Holy Grail album in its entirety to their device. It also strategically allowed them to share it with Facebook and Twitter friends, as well as email it.
Samsung is no dummy. In a digital marketing