Betting Against Piracy

Ghost Beach is using American Eagle Outfitters' billboard in Times Square to promote their campaign on Piracy.











(from Billboard Magazine, April 3, 2013) Ghost Beach, a New-York based pop duo, was selected to have its music featured on an American Eagle Outfitters online commercial in January. Along with this, the group was given the opportunity to be featured on AEO’s digital billboard in Times Square. Instead of using this as a chance to promote their music, the band instead used the billboard space to strike interest on the debate surrounding music piracy.

Ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day helped the band to come up with an ad that would draw attention to the online campaign. The campaign, Artists Vs. Artists, urges followers to tweet their views on musical piracy using hashtags such as “#artistsagainstpiracy” and “#artistsforpiracy” on Twitter and on

The site debuted on March 18 and over 3000 tweets have been tweeted using the suggested hashtags. The surprising result however was that nearly 3000 of the tweets were for piracy while only about 100 were against it.

Lead singer Josh Ocean was pleased with the small but passionate reaction that the campaign has sparked. “If it gets bigger than our community of musicians, then that’s great. If it just stays within a bunch of our friends talking about this, that’s a start and that’s really cool, too,” Ocean said.

TBWA Chief Creative Officer/Chairman, Mark Figliulo, also likes the direction that this campaign is heading, “It’s a really good thing to get people interacting with your brand in that way. You’re not just telling them what to think, you’re asking them, ‘What do you think?’”

It is becoming more and more common for ad agencies to take on artists and bands as clients to work on projects, big or small. For example, BBDO helped to team One Republic with Save the Children with an original song, “Feel Again.” Often times the ad agencies charge only small fees or even on a pro bono basis.