Last month, on May 17th, Kanye West projected his new video, New Slaves, on 66 buildings around the world. Last night he projected the same video on 8 buildings around Washington, DC and I was able to see one. Did the thousands who attended one of the screenings get the thrill of a lifetime? Maybe.
The event was hyped to be to one of the best marketing ploys ever used to sell CDs or anything else for that matter. This would be the thing that pushed people to buy Kanye West new album, Yeezus, over J. Cole’s new album, Born Sinner. Well as with most things this did not live up to the hype.
After waiting for over a hour the sound of a generator started to grab the attention of the crowd of almost 500 people that had gathered and 10th and U street NW. The crowd cheered as the wait was finally over and it was time to see Yeezus. Then this happened….
No, there is nothing wrong with the sound or video, that is what it was like being on U street with hundreds of people, traffic and right over top of a train station. The projector and weak sound was coming from an unmarked van that rode around the city all night with the last projection showing after 2am.
This was the big plan Kanye used while J. Cole had a listening session in 8 cities in which fans needed to figure out latitude and longitude coordinates and download an app to their phone. Unfortunately, the streaming of the album led to the leak of the album. J. Cole has also planned to do a short tour around the release date of the album. The tour will cover 10 cities and the shows will be at secret locations, with tickets only costing a dollar and being sold on a first come first serve basis.
Lost in this mix is Mac Miller who is also releasing an album, Watching Movies With The Sound Off, on June 18th but his single is not getting radio spins and he has not done a large thing to promote the album. Such is the life of an independent artist.
I think it is great to have artist thinking of creative ways to promote and market themselves. While Kanye’s idea was poorly executed, the fact that he had thousands of people out around the city at all hours of the night looking at him is a testament to how big of an icon he is and how much people care about his music. Sales do not matter to me but I think both will do well. As long as they keep the creativity in the music and marketing people will want to listen.
Did you see the projection? What did you think? What marketing plan do you like better? Let me know in the comments section.