Daft Punk: Marketing Genius or Capitalising on the Viral-Factor? 15th Dec 2007

Daft Punk are dance music legends. Standing more as multi-media artists than pure music producers, youth culture owes these two French dudes a whole lot of love.

Aside from their self-made feature film Daft Punk Electroma, the boys have been pretty quiet since 2004. Until the beginning of this year that is, when their 2001 released track Harder Better Faster Stronger started being featured in more than its fair share of really good YouTube videos.

You can't take away how good a track Harder Better Faster Stronger is, however it was astounding how it was becoming the seminal soundtrack for quality user generated videos.

Whether it is Daft Fingers (10m views), the A Capella Boy Choir (1.8m views) or the Groovy Dancing Girl (1.4m views). Each video has become a phenomenon in their own right and spawned their very own remixes (just scroll down the related video list).

In terms of trends, it epitomised the new art of video remixing (where users were taking either an existing song or piece of video and reinterpreting it in their way) and at that stage it stood as being a killer UGC case study. Interesting to talk about, great creative and explains the whole phenomenon very simply.

Then came Kanye. His sampling of Stronger created one of the biggest Rhythm & Pop tracks of the year (and also spawned a whole new trend in sunglasses). Good trend spotting work and production by Kanye, but that's the end of story, right? Nope.

The Daft Punk widget arrived, promoting their Alive World Tour and corresponding (live) Alive album. It is in my view a simple piece of digital marketing genius. It does exactly what it needs to. It reaches the Daft Punk audience (tech savvy twenty-somethings), creates interest (the creative is ace), it's easy to use (most people have heard of widgets but not necessarily used them), it has a viral element, it has CRM functionality and finally the big kahuna, it has direct link to either buy the album on iTunes or find out more about their new tour.

The interesting thing for us all is that they have done it all without spending a vast amount of money on marketing. The message has been the medium and the internet delivered the reach.

Whether it was a genius marketing strategy from start to finish or whether they just capitalised on their viral popularity, it doesn't really matter. The Alive album is an audio masterpiece and I strongly recommend you go out and buy it (and yes for the record that means I have just perpetuated their whole campaign).

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