It’s mysterious, bold without trying, disruptive, and with high visibility placement, including at Times Square and a commercial during Game 2 of the NBA Finals. The graphic is simple – a yellow background with the numbers 4:44 – but no explanation as to what, when, and why. The only clues are Jay Z and cameos by Danny Glover, Mahershala Ali, and Lupita Nyong’o in the commercial, and that alone was enough to drive Twitter chatter and ‘theorists’. After a few days of this mystery marketing campaign, it’s been finally revealed that it’s for an upcoming film only available for streaming on Jay Z’s Tidal platform.
Sometimes the most effective marketing campaigns only need to be clever without trying, simple yet intriguing, and with just enough mystery to stir up chatter. The 4:44 campaign is a reminder that disruptive messaging cuts through the clutter but also encourages engagement. Consumers are overloaded with information, and challenging thought and gently provoking a reaction is what gets the most engagement. There’s still a lot of unknowns about the film, but for now it’s gotten people’s attention with just a little creativity.