The Human Jukebox
Sometimes crazy works. Pause, an audio equipment store in Stockholm, took guerilla marketing tactics to the extreme (with the help of its agency, Åkestam Holst) by transforming the company’s CEO into a walking human jukebox. Pause wanted to spread the word about their customised sound systems with the craziest “show, don’t tell” stunt they could think of. They invited journalists to see CEO Fredrik Hjelmquist ingest the ‘gutPOD’, a custom-designed wireless receiver in a capsule; while customers could pick songs on Spotify for the belly beatbox to play.
Admittedly, the concept doesn’t quite work - Hjelmquist had to use a microphone and speakers for the music to be heard - but the “Is this for real?” buzz more than paid off: Sales soared by 112% at Pause stores, while visits to their website jumped more than 600%. Just don’t think about what happens when the gutPOD, er, runs its course...
Girl Talk: visualisers vs video mashups
There was lots of online hype back when this Girl Talk visualiser (and others like it) first appeared at the end of last year. Creator @brahn’s intent was to visually give a sense of what's going on as you listen to the staggering 372 samples on Girl Talk's All Day. The idea is nicely executed, but we rather prefer this rough-and-ready YouTube mashup of music video clips from the samples on the track “Play Your Part Pt. 1”. The frenetic barrage of visual snippets conveys the intricacy – and lunacy – of the mashup, with Roy Orbison, Twisted Sister, Jay-Z, Sinead O’Conner, Lil Wayne and dozens more competing for attention.
Wheels of Steel
Wheels of Steel is a lovely browser-based turntable emulator by Scott Schiller. The web is full of experiments that attempt to mix the charm of analogue formats with digital wizardry - witness the surging popularity of turntable.fm (sadly no longer available outside the US at present). Schiller’s creation isn’t intended for pro DJs, but its ability to beat match and pull in anything from SoundCloud is impressive. Take a look at this demo, or read this article on the nuts and bolts of the project. Here’s Schiller on his motivation:
We now have digital toys and things that allow music to be manipulated in ways never imagined before - and yet, there remains something special and meaningful about the old, scratchy, dusty sound of analog mediums and the hands-on, real physical experience of mixing music that digital technology - this HTML experiment included - still aims to match.
And, because we can’t get enough of turntables…
A cardboard turntable from GGRP
Vancouver-based sound house GGRP asked agency Grey Vancouver to help them remind the music industry that GGRP stand for innovation in sound. Grey came up with a clever direct mail campaign: Made from a single piece of cardboard, an album cover envelope opens up into a working record player, complete with a 45 rpm vinyl disc. The record recounts GGRP’s musical history through a children’s story, and can be played by using a pencil to spin the disc, while the cardboard material naturally amplifies the sound.
It’s a delightful campaign, and had a huge response - with visits to the GGRP site increasing from an average of 50 visits p/w to more than 70,000 p/w. We love the way an innovative technology company has shown you don't have to shout about fancy tech to make an impression. By taking the lo-fi route, GGRP and Grey have created something special.
(Thanks to Richard, Andy, Adam and Kejia for this week's link inspiration.)