1D Brings 'Midnight Memories' To Clear Channel

“It” boy band One Direction on Monday had a coming-out party for its new album "Midnight Memories," and they should have a good audience. They got some pre-party traction (as if they need it) through a program with Clear Channel Outdoor's U.S. division (CCOA) that takes advantage of the fact that billboards aren't boards anymore, but -- in CCOA's case -- integrated, rich media digital networks. 

The campaign, part of a larger promotional involving hundreds of billboards in 27 markets, connected to the band's fan bases on Tumblr and Twitter. The promotion, which ran over the weekend, involved the band asking fans to post photos at Tumblr and then selecting 100 images or so to be featured on the billboards. The images are being recaptured as they are broadcast on the billboards so they can be rebroadcast through social media.  



"This came together over the weekend," says Suzanne Grimes, president and COO of CCOA. "In the music business things happen very quickly; there's not a long lead time. In the past we needed that; now we can do it on a dime, subject to availability. That's a powerful asset."

She tells Marketing Daily that the division has also done campaigns for Katy Perry, Paul McCarney, Justin Timberlake and Madonna. Most recently the company did a global album-cover campaign for Lady Gaga's new album "Artpop." The campaign, earlier this fall, involving a billboard reveal of the album cover artwork created by artist Jeff Koons. The effort, on digital displays in cities in 13 countries and 32 markets in the U.S., revealed the album cover at a speed commensurate to the number of tweets to #iHeartArtpop that fans sent from each market. 

Grimes says the evolution of billboards into digital media platforms with dendrites extending to social and mobile means sophisticated metrics for advertisers. “My mission when I came here this year was to change our orientation: we now have audience data and location data together, and marketers are excited about that." The company, she says, is in discussions with wireless carriers and mobile network providers to expand those insights.

In addition to music stars, CCOA has done programs with a roster of consumer brands including P&G, ESPN, and Samsung media. "Out-of-home has come full circle; in the old days having your name on a billboard meant you'd made it. Now artists again want to engage its fan base with out-of-home and mobile." 

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