Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fight Like Apes and The Mystery of Social Media Marketing

I occassionally get sent stuff from marketing agencies/labels who ask me to write about such and such and this and that. One such piece was some info on Vodafone 360 and their work with Fight Like Apes.

I don't use Vodafone myself (this is already a huge fail as a puff piece isn't it? There goes my hefty marketing sponsored cheque) but I love the idea of the 360 service. Alot of artists harp on about doing interactive content but that usually consists of one crap webchat and a few tweets.

This program offers up some pretty nice content and has a strong mix of international artists who don't always get the press they might need. It basically offers a profile on a web version of a fancy phone that lets you look at videos and info each act has posted. The stuff is actually very well made, the kind of high quality content you'd see on a decent music TV show if such things were still getting made these days.

So when I was perusing the press material I was sent I immediately seized on was a video of FLA learning how to wrestle (!) for their new video "Do You Karate". This is only a snippet of the full video but it gets the gist across. The reason it works so well for me is how they've picked an act with a genuinely quirky sensibility and worked with it.

So much of the current Web 3.0 bandwagon jumping doesn't work because it feels like people being forced to engage with content they don't understand. Its a point recently discussed in the Sunday Tribune by Una Mullally with regards to politicians (who when they get it wrong with interactive content get it really wrong) and as the Guardian noted one that becomes increasingly important for acts (Cheryl Cole in this piece). This kind of marketing is not going anywhere it seems at least not for the moment.

But in a way maybe thats no bad thing. New methods of getting an audience are needed particularly with music. Everybody knows that sales are disappearing but very few seem to be offering new ways to reach fans and new listeners. A campaign like this is a step in the right direction.

And ulimately its hard to argue with mini videos like this isn't it?

Here is the final video, for "Do You Karate" one of my favourite tracks from the Fight Like Apes album (which was recently packaged with a load of bonus stuff, check out the website, in either form its an essential listen). I like the way these guys have taken their love of pro wrestling into a video and their forthcoming in the ring shows (which sound amazing, more info on their website). Its a bit like how Madonna works a certain look and theme through each album. Honestly.

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