On Monday, Jay-Z announced the scheduled release of his newest album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, in an unconventional way ... during the final seconds of a Samsung TV commercial.
If it weren't Jay-Z narrating on the screen, viewers probably wouldn't have stayed tuned until the end of the three-minute commercial. Luckily, his voice is a great hook and we watched attentively as the rapper begins standing on a rooftop with what we learn to be a Galaxy S4 tablet in hand. For the proceeding minutes, he plays around with a beat and exchanges words with his producer, Rick Rubin and artists Pharrell Williams, Swizz Beatz, and Timbaland (fingers crossed that we can expect to hear them featured on the soundtrack).
Samsung's advertisement campaign was certainly an extravagant way to promote the new Galaxy S4. According to the Wall Street Journal, it paid "$5 a piece for the million digital copies, along with rights to exclusively distribute the album for the first three days." Plus, the announcement came at prime-viewing time, during the end of the second quarter of NBA finals game five. Samsung is pulling out all the stops trying to edge Apple with the new tablet. As the company's stocks have depleted since the announcement the success of such an ambitious ad campaign is still to be determined.
Besides for the elusive first scene, the only reference to Samsung or the Galaxy S4 comes at the end of the ad. Text on the final black screen displays the link to a website — Magnacartaholygrail.com — which provides viewers with more information about how to download the album. While it will be officially released on July 4, Samsung Galaxy users can access the anticipated album through a "customized mobile app" as early as June 24.
A strategic move by the rapper, Jay-Z will pocket $5 million dollars before his album even goes on sale. Plus, if the beat playing in the background of the commercial is any indicator, we can expect some great things from the new album.