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A Harmonious Fit: Samsung & Jay-Z Introduce the Next Big Thing

After Jay-Z and Samsung announced their partnership with a three-minute commercial during halftime of the NBA finals on June 16 and the second installment in Game 7, the marketing world was abuzz. And, rightfully so since our industry hasn't seen such a ground breaking partnership since Peggy met Don. Or in more modern day terms when Felix Baumgartner paired up with Red Bull Stratos. Let's take a look at the power of this blockbuster collaboration through the lens of Mr. Carter's lyrics. I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man.  As Jay-Z so aptly stated in Kayne West's remix of 'Diamonds from Sierra Leone,'? he's not a businessman, he's a business'?¦ man. While many would not refute that statement given his illustrious rap career and successful business ventures including co-owning the 40/40 club and co-creating the clothing line Rocawear, there should be no doubt about his business prowess given his recent partnership with Samsung. Samsung bought 1 million copies to distribute exclusively to Samsung Galaxy users 72 hours prior to the album release. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company paid $5 per copy. This deal gives Jay-Z a cool $5 million for 'Magna Carta Holy Grail'? before it goes on sale. The perfect representation of the 'I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man'? lyric. Bravo, Hova. But don't sell Samsung short. The partnership has further inserted Samsung into pop culture, thereby increasing its 'cool'? factor and buzz worthiness. Hov's a livin' legend and I'll tell you why. Everybody wanna be Hov and Hov's still alive. Jay-Z is a trend setter. After all, who drank Crystal before Jay-Z did? Samsung relies on influencer like Jay-Z to promote its products and appeal to the target audience ' specifically young multi-cultural consumers. A new study by Added Value called 'Cultural Traction'? discusses how multicultural consumers drive a brand's relevance in US pop culture. According to this study, technology brands such as Apple, Google, Samsung and Facebook appeal to multicultural consumers'thereby making them more visionary. This perception is further supported by recent findings in the AOL Hispanic Cyberstudy and the Pew Center's 'State of Social Media'? which state multicultural consumers tend to be leaders and amplifiers of early pop culture trends especially in technology, music, fashion and art. By partnering with the ultimate trend setter with a large multi-cultural fan base, Samsung is poised to further position itself as more visionary. I'm so far ahead of my time; I'm bout to start another life. Look behind you, I'm bout to pass you twice. Both Jay-Z and Samsung consider themselves visionary'always ready for the 'next big thing.'? In the commercial, Jay- Z references that the 'internet is the Wild West, and we need to write the new rules.'? Well, ya did, Jay. He successfully changed the game between marketers and artists. Remember, the Bing and Jay-Z's Decoded project in 2011? The Samsung partnership unveils an interesting dynamic between corporations and the music industry. Mobile companies consider music an important part of their marketing strategy'consider Apple's first ads driven by the music with silhouettes dancing against bright colors. And, corporate partners are playing a significant role in marketing the music industry (e.g. Coca-Cola and Taylor Swift or Budweiser and Justin Timberlake). In order to be successful against Apple, brands like Samsung need to always been one step ahead. Watch out Apple. Jay and Samsung may 'pass you twice.'?  

JT is Ready

1 Social Media Post. 1 Teaser Video. 1 Countdown Clock. Apparently that's all it takes to start a firestorm of conversation online. Of course, it doesn't hurt when that tweet, video and countdown are in reference to Justin Timberlake's return to music. In a brilliant, and unbelievably simple, marketing campaign, JT sent the below, slightly cryptic message to his 15 million+ Twitter followers, 17+ million Facebook likers and his growing (he hopes) MySpace friends on Thursday afternoon: The link sends fans to http://countdown.justintimberlake.com/ which launches a 60 second teaser video entitled "I'm Ready." The video follows Timberlake as he walks through a building into a recording studio. The accompanying first-person voice over features Timberlake talking about how serious he takes his craft, and why he's been so inconsistent in producing music over the past few years. At the close of the video, the screen changes to a mexican pharmacy online ticking countdown. The wait ends on Sunday 1/13, but the buzz is just beginning. Well done, JT.

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