Tag Archives: promotion

She’s Everything Head First

I have 13 days left.  I have 13 days left of this school year.  It will mean that I have finished 17 years of teaching.  Ouch.  That makes me feel old.  Seriously old.  Like every year at this time, I feel like I’m barely holding on as I count down each and every hour, day, week.  It isn’t that I hate my job even if this countdown makes me sound like that.  There are many things I like about teaching but there is one thing I can’t stand.  The time and stress it creates.  I wish that I could adequately describe my day-to-day existence to convey the exhaustion I feel at the end of the day, week, month and year.  I will say it this way.  Imagine 10-12 hour days that are filled with non-stop activities, actions, decisions then the rest of the time is often spending grading, thinking about, planning, etc. even when away from the job.  To say that it is intense would be an understatement.  Now, I won’t lie.  There is a part of me, probably a bigger part of me than I care to admit, that really likes the intensity, the all-consuming part of the job.  In fact, I’m sure that I might give more of myself than many to allow the intensity.  This personality quirk is probably why I also liked campaigning or even organizing and running Durandemonium, the convention we held in 2013.  As much as I like this part of the job, I also hate it.  I hate not having the time or energy to find out the latest in Duranland.  I’m sure that there are many who question how big of a fan I am since I don’t talk much about them (personally, individually) on social media.  I’m rarely the one who hears rumors or makes greater connections with other Duranies, between Rhonda and myself.  It isn’t that I don’t care.  It is just that it is hard for me to give more than what I do on the job.  Of course, now that summer is coming, I will have more opportunity and chance to participate, which I’m greatly looking forward to.

As I pondered all of this, I started thinking about the band.  (This, of course, is how I know that I really am still a big fan.  I find myself thinking of them all the time and connecting things back to them.)  I started thinking about their job and their long history.  First, I thought about how their lives must be.  I imagine promoting an album, either through TV appearances, interviews, etc. or touring to be much like the school year is for me, in terms of intensity.  I suspect that promoting an album is all-consuming.  There probably isn’t much time for them to think of anything else.  I wonder if they are like me, in that, there is a part of them that likes the intensity, likes the all-consuming nature of promotion.  Yet, I also wonder if they are also like me and my job, in that it can get very tiring.  Then, I wonder if the times when the band is not in the studio, or touring or promoting like my summers.  Do they use those times to do other projects not related to their jobs or do they use those times to make them better for when they are doing Duran Duran projects again?

Then, I wonder if they, at times, when they wish they had chosen a career with real balance.  I know that I do.  I know that my career has impacted and impacts so much of my life.  It is hard to think of myself without thinking of the title:  teacher.  Is that the same with the band members?  Do they struggle to think of themselves without thinking also of their title:  rock star?  Sometimes, I think about giving it up.  Heck, many times, I do.  The last five years haven’t been easy, career wise, which just adds to the stress of the job.  Yet, here’s the thing.  I’m good at what I do.  I don’t really know why, but I believe that I am.  Is it the self-sacrificing nature I have that I learned from my parents? I’m sure that’s part of it.  Is it my ability to have empathy that allows me to work with kids and their families?  Sure.  I don’t think I’m a dummy, either, so that helps.  Is it the fact that there is a part of me that likes the intensity, that chooses the intensity, that flourishes with the intensity?  I’m sure.  Do the band members have thoughts like this, too?  Do they realize that they are good at what they do?  Would it be hard for them to imagine really walking away because they are good at it and because it is not only what they do but WHO they are?  The fan in me hopes so.

I have been watching my students a lot this past week.  I have a number of kids who just come to hang out at lunch or after school.  There are kids who come in to chat or to ask advice.  I won’t lie.  There have even been a few who have told me that I have to change what I’m teaching next year because they just can’t have another history teacher.  They don’t want another history teacher.  They want me.  I’m it, for them.  These statements, these kids fill my heart, for sure.  They will always be a BIG reason why it would be hard to give it up.  I know that I have created positive relationships with many kids and I’m hopeful that many more have learned something and have learned to like or love history.  I wonder if Duran Duran looks at their fans in a similar way.  Would we fans make it hard for them to ever walk away, too?  I have to hope so, from a purely selfish point of view.

For now, I’ll push until the end of the school year.  Then, maybe, I’ll have the time and the energy to watch as Duran shifts into a more intense period of their careers.  I’ll pass the intensity baton to them.

-A

Can’t Deny My Love for this type of promo!

Can I write a blog in 15 minutes? Probably not…but I’m going to try.

I just wanted to gush a teensy bit over Brandon Flowers. You see, in my perfect little world – this is how any and every band would properly tease their audience into buying a new album.

I’m probably not going to get this timeline correct, but I would guess it was around early Fall that I had heard that Brandon Flowers (lead singer of the The Killers if you’re unfamiliar) was going to cut another solo album. Truthfully it could have been earlier than that, but for the sake of argument, we’re going with Fall (Or what the rest of the world may call Autumn. Sorry, the California in me comes out with a vengeance every once in a while).. It was fairly quiet for a while, but then about February or so (Again, I’m probably way off but that’s not the point), he posted a link to a video from his Twitter account (Which I am almost positive he does NOT run himself) to his website, where there was a little note posted. The note, written in Brandon’s scrawl, gave a short, almost poetic description of the writing process, and even gave the name of the album: The Desired Effect.  Not long after that, I think he posted a video of someone, probably himself but I’m not sure, playing a line of music on a keyboard.  Maybe a week or so later came the teases for his first single, “Can’t Deny My Love”.  I will not lie, I am obsessed with that song. It has a GREAT hook that I can’t and won’t get out of my head. He had video, he had little clips of music…and most of all, he had my attention.

Again, I cannot tell a lie, I do not listen to the radio very often. I don’t pour over every possible piece of music news that is available. I have Google alerts set up for the few bands/artists that I’m interested in, and while The Killers is included in that extremely short list, I am not at all sure I would have caught that Brandon was coming out with a solo album had I not been following him on Twitter. Brandon doesn’t even REALLY try to communicate with fans on Twitter, it’s really about delivering his news to the people and that’s about it. But I follow the account like I do other bands I’m interested in.  However, once he started posting these teasers, I couldn’t stop myself from reading anything and everything I could about his new album. Then he started posting upcoming gig information, including a few right here in LA!  Everything was tied to getting a pre-ordered copy of The Desired Effect, and while I’d already done that… the dates didn’t work for me (naturally, because I’m a parent of three…), but even so, I was completely enthralled watching OTHER fans get their tickets to these super intimate, very short notice gigs. It was really, really cool!

So here we are, with just a couple weeks to go before his new album comes out, and I dare say that there are a ton of people out that have already preordered the album and KNOW about the project that may not have otherwise had it not been for Brandon Flowers teasing everyone endlessly with his new music. I already know the name of the album, which I am more than happy to talk about on Twitter and even on this blog, and I’m even buying a ticket to go see one of his upcoming shows. (or more if it turns out I’m not otherwise busy…) I can’t even say I’m one of the bigger Killer’s fans out there, nor can I say that about Brandon Flowers himself. I’m one of those that might not have otherwise bought the album…one of those “likes” that was just moved into the “sales” column SOLELY because of social media.

Brandon Flowers isn’t the only artist that is using social media in a particularly effective way these days. Spandau Ballet, another favorite of mine, announced some contests for meet and greets at their shows this summer. I have tickets to their show at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa, and so I figured I might as well enter my name. Who knows, right?  Well, not only can you enter your name, but you can earn more “points” (entries) by watching videos, playing music, sharing videos, pictures, etc.  Granted, it takes effort to do those things, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping anyone from trying. My timeline is filled with people sharing their videos and things in order to earn more points and up the ante so that they have better shots at those meet and greets.  Social media does work.

Ultimately, my point is simply that teasers generate interest.  Social media and sharing works. These artists are about to prove that in spades…and in my perfect world, these are two examples of the perfect way to get the public interested and keep them interested!

-R

Just A Case of Early “Album” Nerves

It is coming.  Everyone in Duranland can feel it.  #DD14 is coming.  Pressure Off, the first single, is coming.  Perhaps, more show announcements are on the horizon.  Duranies knew this before this past week’s Katy Kafe but emotions surrounding the upcoming Duran happenings spiked in response.  Why?  Simple.  As part of the Kafe, Roger said that there were some surprises on the album, including a big one with a first name starting with the letter “B”.  This, of course, in typical Duranie fashion got the speculation running wild.  Who could it be?  Bowie?  Boy George?  Brandon Flowers?  Beyonce?  Bruno Mars?  While each of those guesses produced mixed reactions, an underlying feeling began to present itself.  The feeling?  A mixture of hopefulness, anticipation, and anxiety.

Why the anxiety?  Wouldn’t all big fans be excited for new Duran music?  Of course.  Fans can’t wait to hear new music.  We all can’t wait to see articles written about the band’s latest work and we so look forward to promotional activities and appearances!  That isn’t where the concern lies.  As we know, there are a ton of collaborations on this album.  Most of them are people who have been in the musical spotlight as of late.  Certainly, Mark Ronson, Nile Rodgers, Kiesza and Janelle Monae have all experienced a lot of success lately.  This leads to a myriad of thoughts and worries for many Duranies.

Why can’t Duran do an album just themselves?  Why do they need so many collaborations?  What is the goal?  Is it to make the best DURAN DURAN album or is it to make a hit?  Is commercial success the focus or is it the art?  Is it the music?   Will it feel like Duran Duran?  How will this album be marketed?  Will the focus be on getting new fans only or will hardcore fans who have been around for decades be acknowledged?  

There are just a few of the concerns I have seen, heard or even said myself.  I would guess that there might be even more out there.  Before I get the usual negative responses and comments, let me see if I could explain where these concerns are coming from, especially if you are a fan reading this that isn’t concerned.

I believe that all (or mostly all) fans want the band’s upcoming album to be one that is successful.  Of course, we do.  We want the band to experience success and we want to love what it sounds like.  This would make it more likely, I believe, for the band to continue beyond this album.  Yet, fans who have been around for a long time have seen albums not go as planned and ones that have created backlash. Goodness, just this week, I posted a poll with songs off of Medazzaland and Pop Trash and was told how those albums weren’t liked.  I won’t forget what it was like and still like whenever Red Carpet Massacre is mentioned.  There is division in the fan community about that album, like it or not.  All fans I know want to have an album that they can love and can be excited about.  There is just concern that this album won’t be one of those–that doesn’t mean it won’t be but just that there are concerns especially when there are so many others on the album and the focus seems to be on getting a “hit”.  Many fans don’t mind if the band gets a hit, obviously, but many want it to happen naturally because the band produced a Duran Duran song that just happened to get people’s attention and love.  Think Ordinary World.  As much as that song isn’t high on my list of favorites, I, too, can acknowledge that it was a genuine Duran song that just happened to find commercial success.  It wasn’t written solely for the hit.

Then, there are concerns about the marketing surrounding this new album.  Again, most fans I know are happy with Duran Duran getting new fans.  How could we not be?  We were all new fans once, right?  We all discovered them at some point, yes?  Yet, no one wants to be ignored or taken for granted.  After all, getting the diehard Duranies excited could help their cause, too.  I know that I, personally, have gotten non-Duranies to check out their music because of how much I have talked about them.  I know that I have gotten people to become fans by taking them to shows.  That happens all the time and can definitely happen with albums or singles, specifically.  Heck, it happens all the time with all sorts of fandom beyond Duran Duran.  How often do people go to a movie or check out a TV show simply because they have heard a lot of people talking about it?  How often do people check out new music for the very same reason?  It happens all the time.  In this case, Duran Duran has a built in fan promotional machine, if they just gave the fans something to work with.  If diehard Duranies got excited, REALLY got excited, we would talk up the new material in epic amounts.  The social media world wouldn’t really know what hit.  Look at how we got things like Duran Duran Appreciation Day to trend.  That was the fans doing that.  The fans could do that for this album, too, as long as we are included in the marketing package.  I’m not saying that the band and label shouldn’t try to get new fans.  What I am saying is that they should do something to have the Duranies help them sell more, too.  It would also help minimize the worries about the collaborations, too.  Fans would be too busy being excited and getting others to be excited that the concerns would simply be pushed to the back of minds.  This would reinforce Duranies’ fandom, too, ensuring that all of us stick around for a very long time, too.  To me, that matches everything I know about good marketing as well.  You want to keep the customers you have happy, while trying to get new ones.

It would be a win-win-win, for the band, for the label and for the fans.  Then, I suspect any and all worries would be wiped away.

-A

Duran Duran History: Simon & Hitline

Today’s Duran Duran history takes us back to 1993 when Simon was on the show, Hitline USA.  This particular show was a radio show in which people/fans could call in to the show.  Obviously, Simon then answered questions from fans during his time on the show.  During this time in 1993, the band was deeply involved in promotion for the album, The Wedding Album.

If Simon was on a show like this now, what question would you call in to ask him?

-A

Duran Duran History: Richard & Judy

Today’s Duran Duran history takes us back ten years to 2005 when the band was doing promotion for Astronaut.  On this date, Simon and Nick were interviewed on Richard & Judy (Channel 4) in the UK. From what I know, Richard and Judy are a married couple who had a number of different TV shows over the years in the UK.  In 2005, their show was in the format of a daily chat show that aired in the early evening.

This interview apparently has been included on the bootleg entitled “Astronaut Promotion 3”.

Has anyone seen this?  If so, please share some details!

-A

 

Duran Duran History: Formel Eins

Today’s Duran Duran history takes us back to 1984 when the band was completing a lot of promotion on their album, Seven and the Ragged Tiger.  Some of this promotion included TV shows like the German TV chart show Formel Eins.  In this case, the band lip-synched a performance of Union of the Snake.  Since the band was actually in Japan on this date, it is likely that the performance was filmed sometime in late 1983.

I was able to find a clip of this performance:

What do you think?  Reactions?

-A

Today in Duran History – Violence of Summer Promo

On this date in 1990, Duran Duran played Violence of Summer on the Japanese TV Show, Hit Studio International.  This song, off the Liberty album, is not a single that pops into people’s heads when Duran Duran singles are mentioned, especially since it only reached number 64 on the Hot 100 Billboard Chart in the US.  They also did not tour for the album that this song appeared on.  Yet, they still attempted to do promotion as the clip below shows:

What did you think of this interview and performance?

-A

Today in Duran History – Jimmy Fallon

On today’s date in 2011…which feels like a lifetime ago right now even though it’s only been a mere three years… the band appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s late night TV show.  Guess what song they played??

Come on now…any and all of our readers should be able to guess this song.  I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count!

Hungry Like the Wolf.

Hello Monday!!  Have a great week, everyone!

-R