The ads, which show celebrities walking towards the O2 Arena stage, will see both virtual characters and real life members of the band, and will air tomorrow (14 May).
It aims to promote the Gorillaz’s forthcoming Escape to the Plastic Beach tour, which includes shows at The O2 on September 14 and 15.
The tie-up will be backed by a joint through-the-line campaign to promote the tour and let O2 customers know they can get priority tickets to the shows. The campaign will incorporate TV advertising, digital, media partnerships and the latest technology, including augmented reality.
VCCP, Drum, pd3 and Indie Mobile developed the campaign with media buying by Zenith Optimedia, online creative by Agency Republic and below the line communications by AIS.
Gorillaz’s Jamie Hewlett created the special version of the ad which has previously followed artists from Tom Jones to Jon Bon Jovi .
In a first for O2, an augmented reality app has been created for the campaign. The iPhone app will play special animations bringing a virtual Gorillaz world to life when customers take a photo of an augmented reality codes, which will be printed on various media throughout the campaign.
The application also gives customers access to a Gorillaz newsfeed, tour tickets and tracks via iTunes. The application will be updated with new content throughout the campaign including a GPS tracking map that will enable users to track Murdoc across the globe.
Other aspects of the campaign include media partnerships with NME, Xfm and The Sun. Digital marketing activities will see home page takeovers of Yahoo and Spotify and special ads will be embedded into Shazam’s iPhone app.
“This arrangement goes far beyond standard activity between brand and artist” says Sally Cowdry, UK marketing director at O2. “It’s a pioneering collaboration through which we will innovatively demonstrate the benefits of our Priority tickets and promote the UK tour. We look forward to working with more artists in this way.”
Chris Morrison of CMO Management International, adds: “O2 and Gorillaz have worked together as much as a coalition as collaboration. Ideas and agenda’s were merged into a common action utilizing the unique creative geneses of Gorillaz and the cutting edge marketing of O2 from which both parties benefit immensely.”