Lady Gaga has teamed up with social gaming giant Zynga to promote and celebrate her new album, "Born This Way," ahead of its launch.
The multi-pronged collaboration will allow little monsters across the world to interact with a Lady Gaga-inspired farm in Zynga game "FarmVille," get a first listen of new songs from the pop icon's upcoming album - via music streams, powered by radio giant Clear Channel's digital radio service iHeartRadio, that can be unlocked in the game - and a download of the album plus exclusive bonus tracks when buying a $25 Zynga game card, which allows players to buy in-game items, at Best Buy.
Players can also get limited edition Gaga items on Zynga's "RewardVille."
The Lady Gaga program, which launches on May 17 - ahead of the May 23 release of "Born This Way," marks the first time Zynga has partnered with a global pop icon or an entertainment release across different games and platforms at the same time.
Meanwhile, the Lady Gaga integration marks the first time that Clear Channel has partnered with a social gaming firm. The radio giant's relationship with Zynga will be promoted across Clear Channel stations and on iHeartRadio. In addition, Lady Gaga will announce codes that unlock exclusive Lady Gaga-inspired limited edition virtual items on 148 Clear Channel stations on May 17, including New York's Z100 and LA's KIIS-FM.
"We're inventing new ways for fans and players to celebrate Lady Gaga's new album and do so in the way that reflects the album's focus on self-expression and positivity," said Raquel Di Sabatino, director of entertainment and media at Zynga. She didn't disclose financial terms. "[Lady Gaga] is an innovative force in pop culture and been revolutionizing the industry, including in the way she connects with her fans," she said. "And she is as passionate about her fans as we are about our players. "The Gaga effort comes as social gaming powerhouse Zynga continues its entertainment push after a recent deal with Viacom's Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies to promote the theatrical release of "Rango." In the film space, its first deal featured DreamWorks Animations' "Megamind" in a partnership that saw the animated film's protagonist launch a "Mega-Farm" within Zynga's flagship game "FarmVille" for a day. Zynga then placed Sony Pictures Entertainment's "The Green Hornet" inside its "Mafia Wars" game."
On the TV side, Time Warner's TNT's in late December did a Southland integration with "Mafia Wars." And early last year, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Zynga partnered for a "Mafia Wars" campaign in support of the Blu-ray and DVD release of "Public Enemies." Music has also increasingly been on Zynga's radar, and it has had a successful partnership with Dr. Dre for "Mafia Wars" that allowed players to watch the music video for the music producer's first single from his album Detox, among other things to promote the album. And last August, Snoop Dogg and "Mafia Wars" blew up a four-ton armored truck in celebration of 10 million visitors to "Mafia Wars Las Vegas," with over 2 million views of the live-stream.
Clear Channel, on its part, has increasingly looked to Facebook and other online ways to engage its listeners. "Partnering with Zynga to provide this incredible immersive music experience within 'FarmVille' is another clear indication that Clear Channel is adding the social element to radio in ways no other company can," said Bob Pittman, chairman of media and entertainment platforms at Clear Channel. "Radio has been Lady Gaga's virtual stage from the very beginning, enabling fans to connect with her 24x7, and this is another extension of that stage.