Read of the Day: “Guerrilla Marketing Campaign for an Underground Album Release”
5:30 pm, October 4th | by Colette McIntyre
In today’s Read of the Day, The Toast teaches us how to market our incredibly indie, super underground, off-the-grid, did we say indie? music.
Three months before release: Affix blurry, incomprehensible band posters to bus shelter ceilings across the city. Some posters will feature a tiny QR code in one corner. When scanned by a smartphone, the code brings up a website containing three riddles about the band. Solve all three, and that night a brick is thrown through your bedroom window with a thumb-drive taped to it. That thumb drive contains the name of the new album’s super-secret hidden track, as an anagram.
Two months before release: Steal a department store mannequin, fill with lime gelatin and dump in a lake just outside the city. Hidden inside the mannequin’s torso is a fortune cookie stuffed into an empty pack of Marlboro Lights and sealed in ten layers of plastic wrap. Printed on the fortune is the call sign for a radio station on which the band plans to mention the new album during an upcoming interview.
Six weeks before release: Tape a baggie of magnetic letters beneath an outdoor stairwell in the neighborhood of each band member. The letters can be arranged to spell out the title of a lesser-known Dostoevsky novel, which is also an encoded phone number. If the finder cracks that code, calls the number, and gives their home address to the person who answers, they will receive a band T-shirt in the mail. (Size M no longer available.)
One month before release: Sew 28 individually-wrapped slices of American cheese into the lining of a rented tuxedo jacket and drape it over a parking meter. In the breast pocket of the jacket is the key to a storage unit located somewhere downtown. Inside the storage unit are the lyrics to an earlier version of the new album’s breakout fourth track translated into German and cross-stitched on a scented throw pillow. Stuffed inside the throw pillow are the rented tuxedo pants, which have been dipped in wax (the song was initially called “Candle Pants;” the final version is called “American Cheese Jacket”). Note: Do not expect your deposit back from the tuxedo place.
To know what to do on the day of release, click here.