Jane Pollard and Iain Forsyth are collaborative visual artists who have done everything from re-enacting David Bowie’s final performance as Ziggy Stardust, remade a bootleg of the Cramps with Holly Golightly as Poison Ivy, created the feted ‘Moby Hotel’ and built a machine that can embed a subliminal message into music for ‘Silent Sound’.
When it comes to bringing music and digital together in an innovative creative, these people are at the top of their game.
They discussed the five main factors they apply to each project:
1) Aim – what do you want to do? Is it achievable?
2) Voice – is the project tailored to the artist?
3) Innovation – is it a good idea?
4) Audience – are you reaching the audience?
5) Value – are you getting the right value
For example, when Pulp reunited to play live, they grabbed attention with the way they put it across, in the form of an enigmatic film of the band setting up in a studio with a stream of consciousness narrative provided by Jarvis Cocker. Fans were also invited to cover Pulp songs to ‘help them relearn the songs. The brief was to make it not look like marketing.
With Adele, the aim of her initial campaign was, as Pollard put it, ‘How do we put across this remarkable voice?’ Rather than making a regular website with news stories and a run of the mill design, the main page featured solely a video of Adele’s incendiary performance on Later…with Jools Holland – that was the first and main thing fans saw / heard when visiting the website. Simple but effective…
Pollard and Forsyth basically gave a masterclass in quirky ways of approaching marketing – another example was a sinister cut-out ‘man’ listening post, which toured London’s landmarks allowing people to listen to Thom York’s solo debut ‘The Eraser’, garnering masses of press and interest. The video for Nick Cave’s ‘Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!’, kept it simple, understood that Cave fans just want to see Cave, rather than a complicated narrative, and unlocked the humour of the record in a successful bid to change perceptions that the band were ‘gothic’ or miserable.
The pair continued to show a slew of impressive campaigns, from the Moby Hotel to their celebrated 4AD Sessions, with lucid explanations of their principles and working methods along the way. Not only that, but they then publicly brainstormed with three companies (chosen via a previous application process) to try and find ideas to promote and market their artists.