The marketing around all bands has been woeful. Weezer, another 90s act, also struggle massively in appropriately dealing with new albums and even doing the simple things right. Although I no longer give two shits about the corny nuffiness of Weezer, there are so many similarities – how hard is it to make social media updates teasing new videos, or counting down toward a show (the Australian Blur shows could have been hit on much harder – why not post a video, photograph, lanyard, whatever from their last 1998 tour every day until the first show?). Whether it's negligence with older industry types still 'taking care' of a band they always have and not updating to the times, I don't know, but the social media presence has always been pretty naff.John_d wrote:I think we all agree that the promo for Phase 3 was botched. Releasing the Stylo audio without the video was absolutely bizarre, and lots of bizarre decisions followed. Hopefully it's not the same people in place this time again. It's worth noting Gorillaz is a joint venture between Damon/Jamie and EMI (not widely understood). Perhaps last time there were too many cooks spoiling the broth, not helped if Damon and Jamie weren't working together completely effectively.
In general I have misgivings about Blur/Damon's management as the treatment of/communication with the fans often seems suspect - eg closing the official forum, the repeated Hyde Park mega-gigs (surely a new venue would be appropiate now).
In my opinion the Gorillaz countdown thing was probably to just relaunch all the social media, as the pages had all been dormant for years.
I think people saw all this activity for a band who had done nothing since about 2011, and suddenly people picked up on it. EMI made their own accidental hype train.
It was sort of a weird way to do it as well, recollecting the past... even the two tone Demon Days cover... to me it screamed 'A-Sides: Best of Gorillaz.'
I always had an idea for marketing Gorillaz as they're a big enough band to pull it off. Basically, the website goes down and it's totally white except for some text in the top corner – this is all simple stuff, no HTML, all Times New Roman and ugly link formatting, straight from 1993 – and there's the option to give a certain amount of money. One amount means you end up with the special edition vinyl (with a bonus song or three), the next means you get the digital download, the next is being on the exclusive mailing list which lets you get tickets as soon as gigs are announced and at a lower rate, and the final one requires you to put in a t-shirt size.
A few days later (the t-shirts have already been printed), people start receiving t-shirts, posters, and stickers they're encouraged to wear and post up around town. This will have some artwork (not actually the cover art, but something quite close – maybe even a new 'press photo') on it and a release date. The t-shirts have 'slogans' on them which are songs from the new record. Let's use Demon Days as an example... 'Don't Get Lost In Heaven' with a Gorillaz - Demon Days written on the back or something.
This all trickles out to social media within a few hours, and a few days later it's all confirmed on the website. Of course people on the mailing list get told a new video and song is out soon. The website is then made of, say, 24 black squares and over 24 hours, each square becomes part of the jigsaw for the first frame of the music video – people will realise each block is unlocked every hour, and hopefully people tune in to see the first video.
Then the digital download comes out of nowhere 10, 12 days later. The single has time to breath and mystery keeps surrounding the Gorillaz website – plenty of red herrings. Maybe give Murdoc an instagram account where he does this.
(As for Hyde Park, I think of myself – a then 21-year old Aussie, who never thought he'd even see the band live – seeing a band like Blur at a venue like that as charming, special, and all-time as you can get. London is their town and that venue is so cool, and the history of the comeback gigs and the Olympic shows means that when they play there, it's something special and the signalling of something the band think is poignant. It was one of the best days of my life, to see Blur, in the rainy grey at Hyde Park, meeting new friends, having a ball...)