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Canadian entertainment icon Drake released hit's one week ago today. It will undeniably be the biggest record of 2021, adding to his lengthy resume of accomplishments. 

Prior to the launch of his latest release, Certified Lover Boy (aka. CLB), the artist released a number of clues to fans about the project and the release date. First, we saw the thinly lined heart cut into Drake's hairline, which began to make an appearance on his social feeds. Followed by seemingly cryptic placements on SportsCentre teasing the release date. Those hints were enough to throw the music industry and fans into a frenzy.

And in classic Drake form...the billboard campaign was activated.

 

Love him, hate him, you cannot deny the pure perfection in the strategy. 

  1. Primed to go viral (and they did, at a scale rarely seen),
  2. Global placements in key cities in which artists featured were located to generate broader support and;
  3. Capitalizing on the fact that we are emerging from our homes as restrictions ease.

Tremendous strategy and execution from both a brand and media standpoint, we particularly enjoyed the takeover within Toronto's Dundas Square, one of Canadas most iconic OOH locations.

This is not the first time that Drake has taken to the Out of Home space to hype up a forthcoming release.

In 2015, Drake's billboard investments earned more than 86 million media impressions, albeit a single billboard over a 7-day period. That billboard was placed on Toronto's Gardiner Expressway, which at the time was estimated to yield a daily impression volume of roughly 91,000, made up mostly of commuters in/out of Toronto's downtown core.

 

For argument's sake, let's say that this board was secured for a $20 CPM (cost per thousand impressions), so essentially the billboard would have cost roughly $13,000 (+production costs). The earned media of 86M impressions could have seen a value north of $1M, providing some extremely healthy ROI metrics. 

At a time when we've been heavily conditioned to think "Digital First", this has been incredibly refreshing. Kudos to Drake for single-handedly driving the rebound of OOH space in Q4, and reminding us how impactful great media placement can be.