Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Thursday, 3 November 2016


a branded campaign
As good an example as any, they're highly active across multiple platforms, and even managed to persuade me to lash out on a vinyl copy of their comeback single Bagboy and EP after spotting a promo tweet. Like many who ordered this I don't currently have a record player - the package also came with download codes for high bitrate (quality) MP3s.

Old-school email is a tool they use very effectively - always integrating their other platforms when doing so. These screenshots largely speak for themselves:

  • using staggered video releases to push new releases and tours alike
  • they've recorded videos for every album (2) and EP track since re-forming, a growing trend (not least as YouTube plays themselves generate revenue)
  • the range of videos work to both please their existing, ageing fanbase (the band date back to the late 80s and were a key influence on Nirvana) and to target a new, younger audience too (for sheer inspiration, I highly recommend viewing a batch of these and/or Depeche Mode videos)
  • they offer exclusives to various online ezines; an advantage of multiple videos is that they can offer this to a variety of sites over time
  • they highlight Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (plus their website), currently the big 3 of social media (surely users will tire of Twitter eventually?!)
  • look carefully at the followers/likes numbers, and you'll get a good example of which platforms are most/least significant for a primarily mature adult fanbase
  • the emails are not excessive, but often enough to keep prompting fans into potential purchase of recordings, merchandise or tickets, or at worst to view their video/s or visit their online platforms
  • the branding is clear: the P in a circle at the bottom of the email; the banner/masthead across their online platforms pushing the latest album, and a consistent image for their user icons
  • recordings are offered in multiple formats, including vinyl and boxsets
  • there is also a link for streaming
  • this is tied into multiple streaming platforms
Skip to 1:43 for 2nd question in this interview in which they discuss social media...(part of my extensive Pixies playlist)

a few of the emails The Pixies (... the marketing agency they've hired!) have sent me.
Details of the latest, plus screenshots from their platforms, are below the read more line


Above: even their buttons are distinctively on-brand, with a gritty look and a plain, unadorned courier-like font denoting their lack of artifice and status as serious artists.

This is where the streaming link takes you - note the licensing deals with multiple platforms:

The boxset is a lavish package, and expensive - but affordable to much of their mature adult core audience (videos like Bagboy are clearly attempting to refresh their appeal to a younger audience too):
Note the small details: just as on Amazon, you can zoom in on the picture by moving the mouse over it.


Their Instagram:
Note again the careful branding across platforms:

Their Facebook - note the user icon again, plus the direct link to merch: the SHOP NOW button doubled up with the left-side links. In contrast to their 14k Instagram followers, here they have 2.1m likes.

Their Twitter - and again note the consistency across the platforms in branding terms, with the now familiar, consistent user logo and the banner/masthead pushing the new album (this changes over time in line with their latest releases, which will also see the website look tweaked too). The band have been through line-up changes, so the user icon they uploaded reflects the current line-up.
243K followers here, maybe suggesting FB is the core option for a mature adult audience, Instagram more important for a younger audience (but equally that its important to target all 3?).

This gets the band a plug for their tour and platforms too:

Their YouTube channel, of course, reflects the same branding...currently a video ad for their new album is set as the autoplay video. Note once again how their various platforms are inter-linked too:

Here's the latest video that sparked this post - as quirky as ever, and featuring some youthful women (their age could be seen as anywhere from 18-late 20s), illustrating the diverse appeal of the Pixies videos and music. As ever, some incredible ideas in this video.

Check out 'The Pixies' tag (see post tags or check the tag cloud) for much more on this band, a useful case study.

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