Sony, One Direction kick up album launch via messaging app


One Direction’s Kik Card

Sony Music and One Direction have launched the first marketing campaign on mobile messaging platform Kik to reach 1D fans and promote the bands new album.

Kik is similar to BlackBerry Messenger and iChat and uses a phones data plan or Wi-Fi to send and receive messages. One Direction has introduced a 1D Kik Card which lets fans share One Direction content within Kiks platform.

The IPG Media Lab’s primary goal was to build a platform that provided a fun, interactive experience for One Direction fans – making it easy for Directioners to engage and share content with one another, said Eytan Oren, director of partnerships at IPG Media Lab, New York.

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At the IPG Media Lab, were always looking for new ways to reach audiences, he said. For a group like One Direction, if you want to reach their fan base, it was important to consider messaging apps, an increasingly interesting space for millenials.

Sony/Columbia Records saw an alignment between the Kik demographic and the One Direction demographic. Ultimately the IPG Media Lab sees big opportunities for brands and bands in messaging, and the 1D Card is an example of what’s possible. While messaging apps may have started as a way to text for free, they are evolving into full-blown media portals built around making conversation more fun.

IPG Media Lab powered the One Direction campaign.

1D Kik
To access the exclusive content, One Direction fans must first download the Kik app and register. The Kik app is available for free on Apples App Store and Google Play.

Then fans can go to to be directed to the 1d Kik Card.

Fans can select Social #1D to see One Directions Twitter presence in real-time. They can also click on See to browse photos and videos of the band.

Every piece of content has a prominent Kik share button to let fans connect with each other and share their One Direction love via the platform.

Additionally, the 1D Kik Card lets fans chat and kik it with other One Direction fans.

Fans can also help unlock exclusive content for the Kik community by buying One Directions new album Midnight Memories directly from the Card. When 5,000 copies are purchased, One Direction will unlock the content.

The Kik Card shows a real-time update on how many albums have been purchased through Kik.

One Direction’sTwitter presence

Mobile messaging
Brands have long been pushing marketing efforts via traditional SMS, but only a few have begun leveraging newer platforms such as Kik.

These niche messaging apps can help brands reach a more targeted audience and create a more meaningful relationship with consumers.

For example, a few brands such as Taco Bell and Acura have begun experimenting with Snapchat to create more direct one-to-one interactions with consumers (see story).

While SMS has a wider reach, these specific platforms can help brands stand out in a crowded space.

Kik is one of the top ways people connect on smartphones with over 95M users, said Heather Galt, head of marketing at Kik, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Sony/Columbia Records and One Direction saw huge value in both Kiks youth-heavy user base and the virality of its constantly growing community, which make the app a perfect fit for the music space.

Kik is always looking for ways to work with top brands and companies to enhance the Kik experience for its users, she said. Because Kik Cards are built for the mobile web in HTML5, they are extremely simple to create and very easy to share amongst users taking just a few clicks to experience instead of a long download process all without leaving the app.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

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