Seeing is believing
There is an interesting piece in The Guardian about how the xx (if like me you no longer follow the hit parade this is a groovy band) have launched their second album via social media – the band’s general marketing modus operandi. Basically, they gave the whole album to one super fan, then mapped the file being shared in real time. The graphics were inspired by Aaron Koblin’s visualization of flight patterns in the US. You can have a look here at the live progress (and become part of the experiment).
It’s been a big success. So what? Well, firstly I think its interesting to see information graphics put in the service of marketing. It’s also proof of all that ‘wisdom of crowds / social proof’ theory. As The Guardian reports, ‘A day before the album’s official US release, the viral move made it to the homepage of Reddit, where fans motivated by the visualization initiated a campaign to get the album spread in each country of the globe.’ We are reading that Facebook ‘likes’ are now not a trusted barometer of social currency. Here, perhaps, is a model that might be.
Finally, its interesting because this is ‘live’ marketing and ‘live’ digital design. It made me think that along with other physical constraints that packaging sheds online – digital limited editions are potentially limitless. Those Heinz ketchup bottles with messages in the keystone could change daily. And if, say, McVities Digestives were ‘Britain’s favourite biscuit’ then having a running counter by the pack shot logging how many are made daily would offer live ‘social proof’. Just some noodling thoughts for a Friday…