Gorillaz tap digital jukebox location data for 'Humanz' album launch

Dive Brief:

  • The band Gorillaz is promoting "Humanz" — its first new album in six years — via in-venue digital jukebox provider TouchTunes, according to a news release. TouchTunes and ad tech firm Rubicon Project also announced they've partnered on a private programmatic marketplace for inventory reaching the company's out-of-home audience. TouchTunes touts 38 million unique monthly visitors. 
  • TouchTunes' audience reaches across more than 63,000 bar and restaurant venues and its inventory can be targeted by geography, time of day, music genre, venue type and language. The agency Ciceron, whose client is Warner Bros. Records, is promoting the "Humanz" album with 15- and 30-second static ad creative intended for bars more likely to attract the alternative rock and hip-hop crowds, with the ads being served programmatically through Rubicon's Orders technology.
  • "We’re constantly on the lookout for new ad models or experiences that break out from the standard web banner,"  Ashley Evenson, director of Ciceron's Digital Media Group, said in a statement. "We believe that TouchTunes provided us with a unique way to reach Gorillaz' fan base, utilizing emerging tech that they’re most likely already engaging with."

Dive Insight:

It's no secret that the music industry is struggling, especially as album sales, both physical and digital, slip in the wake of streaming services like Spotify. Gorillaz, however, has always been more forward-thinking than most — the band is fronted by virtual cartoon characters, after all — so Ciceron is smart to leverage a novel channel like TouchTunes' digital jukeboxes ahead of "Humanz." 

Digital technology that can hone in on audiences down to a granular level such as favored genres of music point to how dramatically out-of-home advertising is changing, with firms like TouchTunes filling niches that have previously proved hard to reach.

What was once a moribund channel associated most with static roadside billboards now includes beacon-driven in-store displays that combine digital signage and mobile signals, along with what TouchTunes has to offer. This evolution in out-of-home is one more way digital and offline experiences are converging for marketers.

"Humanz" on the whole has been generating a lot of buzz, not just from music fans hungry for more Gorillaz output, but also from marketers eyeing cutting edge technology. Gorillaz launched a standalone AR/VR mobile app to promote the album, along with hosting a worldwide listening event deemed "the largest ever geo-specific listening experience bringing people together across 500 locations," according to a release. 

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Top image credit: Gorillaz