O2 partners with Gorillaz for tour promotion

LONDON - O2 has teamed up with the Gorillaz to promote the band's forthcoming tour around the UK, with tickets being made available to the mobile operator's customers first.

O2 and Gorillaz have launched a campaign across TV, digital and mobile to promote the band's Escape to the Plastic Beach tour.

The campaign, developed by VCCP, Drum, pd3 and Indie Mobile, Agency Republic and AIS with media planned by Zenith Optimedia, lets O2 customers know they can get priority tickets to the shows.

O2 customers will be able to get tickets 48 hours before general release from 19 May by texting GORILLAZ to 2020 or visiting o2priority.co.uk/gorillaz. 

For the TV ad Gorillaz's Jamie Hewlett has created a special version of O2's 'The Walk' ad, which has previously followed artists from Tom Jones to Jon Bon Jovi on their walk from dressing room to stage.

The Gorillaz version of the ad will include both virtual characters and real life members of the band and will first air on 14 May.

For the first time O2 has created an augmented reality app for the campaign. It will play special animations, bringing a virtual Gorillaz world to life when customers take a photo using an O2 phone.

The application also gives customers access to a Gorillaz newsfeed, tour tickets and tracks via iTunes. It will be updated with new content throughout the campaign, including a GPS tracking map that will enable users to track Murdoc across the globe.

Print ads will appear in NME, Xfm and The Sun, while digital activity includes homepage takeovers of Yahoo and Spotify. Special ads will be embedded into Shazam's iPhone app.

O2 UK marketing department spokeswoman Sally Cowdry said: "This arrangement goes far beyond standard activity between brand and artist.

"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."