07 March 2006

Arctic Monkeys publicity machine rolls on


"I ant got no dollar signs in my eyes that might be a surprise but its true"

(Perhaps vampires is a bit strong but ... Arctic Monkeys)

I still haven't worked out new music sensation the Arctic Monkeys. They seemingly burst out of nowhere onto the music scene, with 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' becoming the fastest-selling debut album in British chart history. Aside from handing out a few CDs to fans none of the publicity was self-generated and seemed to revolve around fans raving about them on internet sites such as MySpace.com. The publicity-shy boys didn't even appear on their own album cover in a bid to stay out of the limelight. The Yorkshire band then candidly followed this up with the decision not to appear on the Brits award show, in what was alleged to be a move to protect their image and reduce the hype surrounding them. Of course this only served to increase it.

Today the Wall Street Journal Europe reported that their management team is traveling around radio stations across the United States asking them not to play any Arctic Monkeys' songs in a bid to reduce the hype. Now to me this just seems like a red rag to a bull ("please don't play our music, it's really good but we don't want to be too famous just yet" kind of thing) and I find it hard to believe their management team aren't aware of the consequences of what they are doing. Maybe they are genuinely acting in the boys' best interests or maybe they are acting as instructed by the band (knowing fully that they are merely dousing fire with alcohol) or perhaps it has all just been one of the most shrewdly conducted PR campaigns of all time. Whatever your opinion on the subject, I would suggest that Wal-Mart may be wise to turn to the Arctic Monkey's PR team, rather than bloggers, in their ongoing bid to improve their image.

4 comments:

planetpotato said...

I love the "they came of out nowhere" type comments. Maybe they did come out of nowhere if you are a 50 year old media executive who believes the Internet is only for pirates and piranhas, and that the only way to promote a band is through smash hits and top of the pops.

Media Mogul said...

I might have overplayed that a little bit for the purpose of the article, but I think that was exactly how the "mainstream" media reported the story. What do you think of their management asking radio stations not to play their records yet in the US? Having lived out there for four years I found that hip-hop and classic rock (and country depending on the area you were in) were the main types of music played. I don't know if kids who haven't grown up listening to much punk/alternative rock, besides mainstream pop acts, will appreciate them as much. They definitely will struggle with the accents too - I think you can see from the fact that any British TV shows like The Office have to be made into a US version (could you imagine The Simpsons with Yorkshire accents). Whether it is just that the executives don't have much faith in showing non-US shows or people are just genuinely inward looking I'm not sure. However, I will be interested to see how the Arctic Monkeys get on and I hope America realises there is more to British music at the moment than James Blunt!

Anonymous said...

Quote: "seemed to revolve around fans raving about them on internet sites such as MySpace.com"

This is a rumour which spread around the net. They had nothing to do with myspace, yeah there is one, but it was set up by a fan, not for publicity reasons.

Quote: "The publicity-shy boys didn't even appear on their own album cover in a bid to stay out of the limelight. The Yorkshire band then candidly followed this up with the decision not to appear on the Brits award show, in what was alleged to be a move to protect their image and reduce the hype surrounding them. Of course this only served to increase it."

How many bands appear on their album cover? Not many, if any!
They didn't appear at the brits, not because of being publicity shy, but because they were playing a gig ON THE SAME NIGHT. SO it was impossible.

I understand you are too caught up in the hype so I thought I would help you out a little ;)

I have read 8 Months of Arctic Monkeys news and know everything. A tip :D

Good write-up though.

Media Mogul said...

Thanks for the comment - I didn't mean to imply that the band (or even the management) themselves had anything to do with the MySpace.com "hype" - I just meant that it was one of the websites in which people were communicating to each other about the Arctic Monkeys.

Thanks for clarifying about the Brits night too - I did not know that. I appreciate that most band don't appear on the cover of their albums too but in the spirit of the story it fit in nicely!

I don't pretend to know everything (or indeed a great deal beyond what is reported in the media) about the band but I like their music and I really hope they 'break' America - if that's what they want. Personally, I think it receives too much attention in the press and vice-versa I'm sure Country acts in the southern states of America aren't being constantly hounded about breaking Britain or even Europe.