Zynga has confirmed a Wall Street Journal report by officially announcing that it's partnering with Lady Gaga on a first of its kind co-branding social gaming promotion: GagaVille, which will launch next week.
The deal brings the power of Lady Gaga's massive fan base and Zynga's game-loving audience together to promote the singer's upcoming album, Born This Way. Visitors to GagaVille, a limited edition (May 17-26) farm within FarmVille, will be the first to hear exclusive unreleased songs from the album, which will also come bundled as a free download with the purchase of a special Zynga $25 game card, available exclusively at Best Buy.
“I want to celebrate and share ‘Born This Way’ with my little monsters in a special way that’s never been done before,” said Lady Gaga in the press release. “Zynga has created a magical place in FarmVille where my fans can come play, and be the first to listen to the album.”
“We’re focused on creating cool new ways to entertain and surprise our players,” said Owen Van Natta, Zynga’s EVP of business (and the former Facebook and MySpace exec who brokered the deal). “Our partnership with Lady Gaga offers many new experiences: Exclusive access to music in-game, a mobile contest, a free album bundled with Zynga game card purchases and limited edition virtual items across ten Zynga games. We want to thank Lady Gaga for working with us on this truly great surprise.”
More from the GagaVille announcement, which follows Gaga's decision to scrap a planned album launch promotion with Target:
GagaVille in FarmVille, Exclusive Access to Music: Visit neighboring in-game farm – “GagaVille” – inspired by Lady Gaga’s unique style, featuring colorful crystals, magical unicorns, sheep on motorcycles, and if we can cram it in, some leather and glitter. Get exclusive access to un-released songs from “Born This Way” every day from May 17 through May 19 by completing quests and unlocking Clear Channel's iHeartRadio player – that’s three never-before-heard songs. On May 20th, be the first to listen to a selection of songs from “Born This Way” before the album drops on May 23.
Special $25 Zynga Game Cards, Win a Day “On the set with Gaga”: Available exclusively through Best Buy (US and Canada) on May 15 through June 11, these $25 Zynga game cards come with a free download of “Born This Way” the full album plus exclusive bonus tracks. Redeem the game card on Zynga.com for album download code (effective May 23), get an exclusive Lady Gaga unicorn for FarmVille, and a chance to win a day “On the Set with Gaga.” As part of this sweepstakes, seven lucky players who redeem eligible game cards will win a day on the set of Lady Gaga’s next music video shoot wherever it may be – whether Cairo, Cleveland, or anywhere in between. InComm is the exclusive prepaid provider of Zynga game cards.
Words With Friends “Words with Gaga” Contest: Zynga and Lady Gaga will reveal a new word each day that relates to the artist or her new album. For example: UNICORN may or may not be a word of the day. We’re not telling. Play the special Gaga word of the day for your chance to win Lady Gaga prizes, including a signed album and concert tickets to see Lady Gaga perform. Winners will be selected at random each day of the contest. US only.
Lady Gaga Virtual Items on RewardVille and beyond: For the first time ever, Zynga is partnering with an artist to offer exclusive virtual items across 10 games. Log onto RewardVille.com to redeem zCoins for limited edition virtual items inspired by Lady Gaga for the Zynga games you love to play, including: CityVille, FrontierVille, FarmVille, Mafia Wars, Zynga Poker, Café World, Treasure Isle, YoVille, PetVille, and Vampire Wars. Starting on May 17th, Lady Gaga will announce codes that unlock exclusive Lady Gaga-inspired limited edition virtual items on 148 Clear Channel stations.
This is the second time Zynga and Lady Gaga have teamed up. In March 2011, the two entertainment icons partnered to raise more than $3 million for Japan relief efforts, with the entertainer donating $1.5 million to Zynga's Japan relief efforts and the American Red Cross. (In fact, she wears a gift from her Japanese fans in her new video, Judas.)
Below, Zynga's Twitter announcement of GagaVille: