O2 and Gorillaz are joining forces in a groundbreaking collaboration to support Gorillaz forthcoming Escape to the Plastic Beach tour which includes shows at The O2 on September 14 and 15. The tie-up will see a significant 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.

In what is a unique collaboration, 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 Friday 14th May.

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’ said 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 Ltd said, ‘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.’

The Gorillaz tour begins at Birmingham’s NIA on Friday 10th, before hitting Newcastle on the 11th, Manchester on the 12th, culminating in two shows at The O2 on the 14th and 15th September. With songs from all 3 albums (Gorillaz, Demon Days and Plastic Beach) the arena tour will include video animation, artwork and film as designed by Jamie Hewlett

O2 customers can get tickets 48 hours before general release from 9am Wednesday 19 May by texting GORILLAZ to 2020 or visiting www.o2priority.co.uk/gorillaz. Tickets go on sale to general public from 9am on Friday, 21st May.
The campaign was developed by VCCP, Drum, pd3 and Indie Mobile with media buying by Zenith Optimedia, online creative by Agency Republic and below the line communications by AIS.

Friday, September 10th, Birmingham NIA
Saturday, September 11th, Newcastle Metro Arena
Sunday, September 12th, Manchester Evening News Arena
Tuesday, September 14th, O2 Arena London
Wednesday, September 15th, O2 Arena London

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
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