A Few of My Favorite Clues From Jay-Z’s “Decoded”

Fast Company posted an excellent article today detailing the method behind Jay-Z’s ubercool collaboration with Droga5 and Bing to market his book Decoded, written with dream hampton.

In it, Tyler Gray writes:

Jay initially hooked up with the creative agency Droga5, who conceived, created, implemented, produced, and delivered the campaign with the help of Microsoft search engine Bing. Droga5 slapped all 320 pages of Decoded in various blown-up sizes on some unexpected surfaces: a rooftop in New Orleans, a pool bottom in Miami (above), cheeseburger wrappers in New York City, a pool table in Jay’s 40/40 Club, and many more.

Other authors should take note and follow his/their creative lead. With the decline of the industry, this sort of fresh approach is exactly what publishers need to save themselves and their rosters. The funds it takes to produce the traditional book tours of publishing’s past (can anyone say Skype?) would be better spent creating interactive marketing schemes.

A few of my favorite clues:

A page mentioning Jay-Z’s frustrations with music bootleggers was found in the form of a counterfeit book distributed by a street vendor near Canal Street in Manhattan. *Source: Droga5


This page was created as a basketball backboard in his old neighborhood near the Marcy Projects. The pages hold the song lyrics to “Where I’m From,” a dedication to the unforgiving lifestyle of the thug in the streets of Bed-Stuy Brooklyn. *Source: Droga5
The lyrics to “Lucifer” were revealed at two interesting locations. The first page-spread was situated in front of a fireplace at the Royalton Hotel. Flames from behind the clear, freestanding page brought the content to life while symbolizing the internal struggle between good and evil. The second “Lucifer” spread was found at the famous escalator in the Hudson Hotel lobby, where visitors traveling up and down experienced the song’s metaphor firsthand. * Source: Droga5

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