Ariana Grande sweetens album release with mixed-reality experience
- To promote pop star Ariana Grande's new album "Sweetener," Island Records and location-based experience platform Landmrk launched a mixed-reality campaign giving U.K. fans access to prizes as they visit hotspots, according to news provided to Marketing Dive.
- Fans can find hotspots by visiting UnlockTheSweetener.com on a mobile device, where they'll be able to access an exclusive selfie filter. They will have to crack a code using a local billboard and their smartphone before they can enter the platform for a chance to win prizes, such as tickets to Grande's U.K. tour, fan CD boxes, merchandise and posters.
- The platform creates virtual billboards in addition to the real-world placements included in the campaign, which gives fans the ability to access the competition regardless of their location.
To drum up excitement for "Sweetener," Island and Landmrk are blending together a few trendy marketing plays, including mixed reality and out-of-home (OOH) elements that feature a digitally-driven component. Providing access to exclusive content like selfie filters and the chance to win prizes such as free concert tickets will likely help the marketers boost appeal among Grande's fans. Millennials and Gen Zers, who likely make up the core of the young artist's follower base, are especially receptive to mobile-focused marketing that leverages technology like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
More marketers are tying mobile-first technologies to traditionally static formats like billboards and posters to drive engagement and strengthen multichannel efforts. The network BET partnered with WP Narrative_ on a campaign in January that combined AR and OOH to promote its show "The Quad." Mars' M&M's candy also ran a similar effort in Times Square last year, where the brand turned billboards into interactive arcade games through AR.
Spending on AR/VR was projected to increase 130.5% in 2017, reaching $13.9 billion, according to an International Data Corporation report. While the retail industry is forecast to lead the way in AR/VR spending, marketers in the entertainment sector are embracing the technology for film, TV and music marketing to give fans more memorable experiences.
Island and Landmrk launching the "Sweetener" campaign in the U.K. is noteworthy, as it comes after a terrorist bombing at one of Grande's concerts in Manchester last year. A song on the new album contains a tribute to the victims. Grande previously organized a benefit concert after the event to help raise money for the victims' families.