Sunday, 7 November 2010

PR Muse-ings

I am typing this as I watch Stephen Fry’s incredible documentary on the BP Oil spill. On that, another time

So now that I am back on line after a serious computer crash, let’s talk business.

Introduced to me in 2008, Muse the understated rock band have only increased their stature and profile the past few years, partly thanks to my word- of-mouth recommendations and frequent Facebook posts. Interestingly Muse's website uses the new age*.mu extension. The site is also a social media mad-house, so elements of good PR there.

Before I rest on my laurels of promoting Muse in my small ways, we can attribute part of their success and new found global fame to seemingly making deals with big-wig movie companies.

In the past 8 months alone Muse has been featured in the trailers of Tom Cruise’s comeback film with Cameron Diaz, Knight and Day and the Angelina Jolie-Johnny Depp starrer The Tourist. A seriously talented mix there. Muse and Hollywood royalty; all through two extremely clever placements.

And from the comments section on the Tourist trailer YouTube page, you can see that part of the excitement for the movie is a result of the Muse collaboration.

How does music product placement work? In these two instances did Muse’s agent go to Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures here, and knock on their doors? Or was it the movie studios trying to give the 40ish starrer films a ‘young ‘edge? Or is it the British band’s (from Devon and mostly active in Canada) clever way of breaking into American consciousness?

How does pitching work? Fashion PR (which I do) for example can be put down in 'pen and paper', mainly involves sample send-outs and call backs and securing features in magazines and 'on' celebrities. Then why does music PR seems suddenly so intriguing, I can’t even imagine how such music deals are made? Is this even PR? Or the old school agent-protégé-hungry music label ménage à trois?

Muse has been on the music scene from 1994, and can’t be put in any particular genre. With music sales down and piracy still plaguing the world was this a good step, have Muse done the right thing by going so mainstream, and further 'endangering' themselves? Will the uber talented group be able to handle the wolfish American paparazzi culture and the pressures of global touring and media glare?

This is a case of an already established music band using PR to promote itself, but see what wonders it has done for AR Rahman from India, 2 Oscars for two not-his-best compositions for Slumdog Millionaire and new age composer Zack Hemsey’s chilling compositions for the Inception trailer putting him in the spotlight.

Now that Muse are on superstar horizon, Matt Bellamy has had the pleasure of dating Kate Hudson, and apparently are still going strong. Clever PRing there. Now he has significantly more print coverage than he ever did, with paps scrambling for pics and news of them.

The song featured in the trailer is Map of the Problematique. Muse has been innovative in terms of sales gimmickery, as this song was one of the first to available as digital download-only in 2007

It may not make sense for me to post Knight and Day’s trailer again so here’s the Tourist trailer, as a love offering to my goddess Angie-baby and of course my current favourite band Muse.

1 comment:

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