The Coldplay ‘Ghost Stories’ Campaign…Ramble

Yes, I’m a huge and I mean huge Coldplay fan. I don’t like them ‘ironically’ as one recent fellow I dated (see that’s past tense) remark. However, that doesn’t preclude me from being able to analyze their campaigns. Their sixth album ‘Ghost Stories’ is a beautiful and haunting in honesty. Note, I was not a fan of ‘Mylo Xyloto’, though a few songs grew on me, and though I loved ‘X & Y’ it was about three or four ballads too long, a fact that is also noted by the band.

When I first heard the lyrics to ‘Magic’ about how ‘I just got broken, broken in to two, still I call it magic, when I’m with you’ red flags started to wave in my head. Of course, I ignored them because the lyrics were all too relatable to me. March saw the debut of other new songs from ‘Ghost Stories’ during their globally broadcast performance as part of the iTunes Festival at SXSW. “Another’s Arms” told the tale of having broken up and the oddness of moving on, still wishing for the person already gone. Now the red flag was as large as Russia’s, and my heart was concerned. The following week GP and Chris Martin announced their ‘conscious uncoupling’, which is also brilliant timing from a marketing standpoint of an album launch.

Woah, is that cold? Fair enough. You can say that but the moments I took to mourn their relationship, also produced even greater depth to the lyrics of ‘Ghost Stories’. Friends commented I might be rushing out to buy the album but they were sure Gwyneth Paltrow wasn’t listening to it. I disagree since Chris told the BBC’s Zane Lowe in an exclusive interview it was the most truthful album they have ever made. The word ‘true’ appears in several of the songs. It’s also really about heartbreak, not being over someone who was ‘True Love’ but having to move forward. Even in “A Star Full of Skies” he mentions in out of all those stars “I think I saw you”, do you get more literal? Or on “Magic” when he sings “and with all your magic, I disappear from view.” Well damn.

The global Coldplay campaign didn’t need the press of a breakup because it included hand-written lyrics for all songs hidden in libraries all over the globe, hints given away via Twitter, TV shows including Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Fallon in the US (let alone the countless ones overseas), and The Voice, as well as live shows in five major cities globally.

Tickets in NY were hard to come by unless you work in the music industry or are willing to pay scalpers.

Personally I’d rather shell out a few extra bucks for the deluxe version at Target, a multi-million dollar campaign #MoreColdplay across social media, television and in-store promotions. The fan incentive? Signed paper stars from the adverts, which also were part of the set dressing for their SNL appearance.

Let’s not forget the continued support of iTunes post-SWSX which included a pre-order, an exclusive track, immediate downloads from the pre-order, social media support and dedicated newsletters and homepage banners.

What I love about Coldplay is the imperfection of it all, the inclusion of fans and the music, of course. I once got into a discussion with a senior level exec at Sony about why Kings of Leon, also releasing their fourth album at the time, were not as successful as Coldplay. He said there was no way and then that album turned out to be KOL’s most successful album and he had to buy me an expensive dinner. Music, when it’s brilliant can still go unheard if it is not marketed properly. Team Coldplay always delivers some new way of connecting with the music, making it fun and inclusive of the fans. Look for their TV special as well:

Into Temptation…Ramble

The vortex of cold makes going outdoors a challenge, but no match for a dog’s bladder. This morning we were out rather early so Elle could ‘do her business’. I couldn’t get back to sleep. Lyrics crept into my head, which sometimes I refer to as a broken jukebox……

The guilty get no sleep, the last few hours of morning, experience is cheap, I should’ve listened to the warning,

but the cradle is soft and warm

Indeed the cradle was soft and warm, but not without edges. Sometimes you have to give into temptation, even knowing full well the earth will rebel. When the spell is broken, reality is a cold, cruel mistress, especially in the heart of winter months. Here’s hoping you cannot relate to what I’m feeling and just enjoy the magic that is Crowded House.

A Few Of My Favorite Things…Ramble

2013 is winding down in a storm of Christmas parties. I made it through, barely, but still have enough brain power to write this post while angry movers toss around someone’s valuables, cursing at their lot. Ah, the joy of the holiday season!

This was …a year.
Song: Bastille’s “Pompeii”


Books:
The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer – You can go home, but it won’t be the same!

Cover of ‘What Did The Fox Say’, well clearly the Kerry Washington version ‘What Did My Girl Say’ from SNL. Who dat who dat who dat bitch?

Perfume:
While Chanel No. 5 is wonderful, this year I was given Chanel No. 19. It is a musky scent, which can be worn on it’s own or blended with your summer scents, to tone them down through winter. If you are looking for a gift that is a little adventurous this is the one!

Celebrity Moment: After a lifetime of love for fellow Aussie, Kylie Minogue, I finally got to enjoy some champagne with her.

Scoundrel:
I would be remiss in summing up my year without mentioning a scoundrel named Theo M., who inspired me to write an entire new manuscript. I finished the first draft during NaNoWriMo, in a new genre for me. I’m working on the sequel so cross fingers they sell in 2014. Theo may not know how to be a real hero, like Ryan Gosling’s character in ‘Drive’, but he pushed me creatively, so he has value as a human being. (*if you listened to the song ‘Real Hero’ you’ll know what that sentence means, if not, it is a song that holds special meaning). Sometimes people come into our lives and betray us at a level never thought possible, but focusing on the good aspects, helps the healing process. That might sound cheesy, but living with so much pain and misery is not where I want to dwell.

In 2013 I became a better writer, cook and had my gall bladder sucked out through my stomach (closest I’ll get to an alien experience). I was pushed beyond my boundaries like never before and hope that continues in a mostly positive direction in 2014. I want to thank all the incredible authors I met this year. Thank you for the great advice and support including Helen Fielding, Erica O’Rourke, and Kwana Jackson in addition to the always amazing Shoshi, in a category all of her own.

Merry Christmas!

Great Big Who? + Christina Aguilera …Ramble

If you were watching The American Music Awards last night and were surprised by Christina Aguilera’s stunning performance, there is a good chance you were wondering who exactly is A Great Big World? In a world where Brits like Aqualung and Gary Go have given the world beautiful ballads on a piano and then gone back to their homeland, it’s nice to see an American duo, who put out an EP using Kickstarter for funding, garner attention.

After some nice TV syncs including a feature on ‘Glee’ of their song ‘This Is The New Year’ (hello they opened for Matthew Morrison on tour, so how awesome is that coming together?) , A Great Big World signed a deal with Epic Records, part of the Sony Music family. Christina is signed to the Sony’s label RCA, heard their song ‘Say Something’ and re-recorded the song with them. After performing ‘Say Something’ on The Voice, the digital single went straight to number one.

The great thing about this collaboration, is getting ‘back to basics’ (okay Xtina fans you are with me there & that was intentional) with Christina Aguilera being stripped down with her make-up, her attire and her voice not being hidden by dance beats and Pitbull. Miley, please take note here, when you have a magnificent power ballad, you don’t need to mock the whole thing with a lip-syncing cat.

If you haven’t listened to ‘Say Something’ do yourself a favor, and do so now:

This song is so perfect it breaks my heart.

Feminism That Kicks Ass Lily Allen is Back…Ramble

Don’t need to shake my ass for you, cause I’ve got a brain.
Oh Lily Allen, have I told you lately how much I adore you? J’adore Lily! There has been a lot of noise this year, especially since Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” became such a huge hit & Miley Cyrus’ tongue & ass can’t seem to be anywhere but in our faces, like we all don’t get enough of that on public transport.

Here’s a smart, amazing way of taking on the glass ceiling, while providing a beat you can actually shake that ass to singing “It’s hard out here for a bitch!” I am having a debate at which lyric is my favorite “Forget your balls and grow a pair of tits” – “Trust the injustice, it’s not going away”– oh woman, you are too amazing.

What Does The Fox, Uh My Girl Say…Ramble

Yeah, if you hear ‘What Does The Fox Say’ one more time, you’re going to smack the niece/nephew/family member who introduced it to you/your man/your kids upside the head. Still, this SNL parody of it with Kerry Washington living out her pop star dreams is a must watch. This is going in high rotation my friends as a reward to myself. Seriously. Now watch it, cause it’s full of butts…

Britney Got To Work Bitch…Ramble

I can’t get enough of “Work Bitch.” It took three listens, but I believe the average person takes 7-8 listens just to get through a whole song. It’s a familiarity thing, unless you are fan seeking it out, determined you will love the song. To me, the JT ‘Suit & Tie’ was a grower. People were like, hmm, I’m a crazy fan, I don’t get it. I said, just chill, it’s going to take time, JT experiments and he is a true artist. His songs are not the normal 2:30 of perfect radio confection like in the N’Sync days. And look how you were all singing ‘Suit & Tie’, so to my friend Red in Ireland, Britney might not be your cup of tea, but I’ve been there supporting her professionally since the beginning and I am an actual huge fan.

This IS Britney’s best video in years. She looks more than present, she is running the show again. Her moves are not mechanical but all out and, come on, there are some hammerhead sharks (I don’t care if they are CGI it f’in rocks!!!!).

Time to get to work dancing: