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Observer print ad to drive listening to Jay-Z album

The Observer will run a 'digital watermark' ad this Sunday as part of the campaign to promote Jay-Z's new album 'The Hits Collection Volume 1', which will enable the reader to sample music from the upcoming album via their phone.

Jay Z ad: embedded code in Observer ad

Jay Z ad: embedded code in Observer ad

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The campaign, which was devised by MediaCom's entertainment division, ted@MediaCom, and record company Def Jam UK in conjunction with The Observer, will use a full-page ad on the back cover of the newspaper’s Review supplement.

The ad uses 'digital watermarking' technology patented by Clic2C, which allows the reader to access a video montage of Jay-Z's greatest hits by scanning the ad with a dedicated app on their smartphone.

As part of the campaign, a teaser advert featured in last Sunday’s Observer review section detailing how to download the app.

'Digital watermarking' describes the process whereby a smartphone can recognise a unique pattern of dots that make up the print of a newspaper and which is unseen by the naked eye, to act as a digital password to unlock rich media on a smartphone.

The Observer ad is supported by a multi-media campaign incorporating television spots on Channel 4, Sky One and FX and digital advertising on Facebook, 4th Screen, YouTube and MSN. The album will be released on 8th November.

Sarah Stringer, media manager at ted@MediaCom said: "As with all greatest hits albums, it's imperative to track sample in order to highlight the catalogue of hit singles which demonstrates its value for money.

"The difficulty we faced is that is usually limited to just printing the track listing, however, using technology such as CLIC2C allows our press adverts to work harder for us, giving us the time sensitivity and scale of a full-page advert in a national newspaper, whilst also incorporating the interactive element of digital."

Shyamala Tharmendiran, label manager at Island/Def Jam UK, said: "It’s important as a music brand that we stay at the forefront of the media marketplace and push our artist’s content in new ways. We will be very interested in the reaction to this for future campaigns."

Simon Kilby, sales director at Guardian News & Media, which owns the Observer newspaper, said: "This kind of advertising is an innovative new step for a music artist, and combining print and digital is a great way to reach this target group."

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