JAY-Z and Bing Change the Game With “DECODED”

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 17, 2010 — In his first book, “DECODED,” pop culture icon JAY-Z describes the hidden meanings behind some of his most provocative songs and provides a highly personal narrative of the culture that so powerfully shaped his life and art. But some stories are bigger than the printed page. Bing, the decision engine from Microsoft Corp., is launching a multiplatform search experience and interactive game to help people decode JAY-Z’s life and lyrics. JAY-Z’s words will be taken a step further, allowing fans to use Bing and decide how to find the very locations that inspired them.

Every single page of JAY-Z’s book will be released to the public before the book is in stores, with pages physically placed in locations related to their specific content. The immersive journey will take players from the projects in the Brooklyn neighborhood where JAY-Z grew up and the London streets where he found inspiration to the building of his empire in Manhattan and beyond. Fans physically in those locations and those playing online with Bing will be offered never-before-experienced insights into JAY-Z’s highly personal process. In addition to high-profile media placements around the world, all 300 pages of “DECODED” will be appearing in places and on objects that have never before been used as advertising. From pools and pool tables to bronze plaques and high-fashion clothing racks, a variety of unexpected surfaces will become the canvas for JAY-Z’s art.

And it will be up to fans to decide how to find these pages using Bing. Online, fans will find a one-of-a-kind search experience built on Bing technologies and will be able to walk the streets that JAY-Z walked and use Bing to search and decide how to decode his life and lyrics at every turn. The immersive online experience utilizes multiple facets of Bing, including Bing Maps and Bing Entertainment, to give fans full access to the stories behind JAY-Z’s songs. Over the course of a month, fans will come together as a community to compile “DECODED” online before it hits bookshelves.

More than 300 pages to decode, located via 600 unique traditional, nontraditional and digital advertising placements in 15 cities around the world and in Bing Maps, 200 prize winners, one grand prize winner, and the unveiling of “DECODED” — all in the next four weeks.

How It Works

Produced by creative agency Droga5, the game launches Oct. 18 and five to 10 new pages from “DECODED” will be unveiled each day, until the contest ends Nov. 20. Players of the game answer clues to find the “DECODED” pages in the online game experience at Bing.com/JAY-Z or in-person by locating the clues in New York, London and beyond. Any player who locates a page online or in-person (by texting unique game codes from the page) is entered into a drawing for a prize: the specific page they have located, signed by JAY-Z. All participants will be entered for a grand prize: two tickets to see JAY-Z and Coldplay in concert in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve.

“DECODED” is on sale Nov. 16 from Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group.

Be a part of this bold new chapter at Bing.com/JAY-Z.

About Bing

Bing is designed to help people overcome search overload and make faster, more informed decisions when searching online. No longer satisfied with the status quo of search, Microsoft designed Bing as a Decision Engine to provide people with intelligent search tools to help them simplify tasks and make more informed decisions, from simple decisions such as choosing the fastest route to get home to more complex ones such as researching a product purchase or planning a trip. Bing is available at http://bing.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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