Coldplay & The Art of “Building Hype” in Music Marketing

Coldplay have just recently begun promoting their upcoming eighth LP, Everyday Life. Before any official announcement was made about the album release, however, the band slowly teased that a new project was on the way.

On YouTube, they first altered the music videos of one song per each of their previous albums, changing the thumbnails to black & white and adding a small sun and moon icon to the description. Next, they changed their profile pictures on all social media to these two sun and moon symbols. A few posters also began popping up in cities all around the world, featuring the band members photoshopped into an old photograph of a jazz band, simply bearing the text “November 19th, 1919.”

This marketing campaign relied solely on fans noticing the changes to the music video thumbnails, theorizing on the meaning of the updated profile pictures, and spreading word online about the posters (which had no direct mention of Coldplay) after having recognized the members’ faces in them. Such a campaign relies exclusively on fans doing detective work, speculating, and building hype as a community, and this new method of marketing music that has evolved in the last 10 years or so has made the release of albums even more exciting for music fans in the 21st century. No longer do people simply go to the record store to buy an album on release day—instead, they can participate directly in the buildup to release, making it an event in and of itself.

Everyday Life comes out on the 22nd of this month. Three songs have been released so far, in promotion of the album. You can listen to “Orphans,” “Arabesque” (my favorite), and “Everyday Life” on Spotify now.

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