A Publicity Stunt Or Viral Ad — Or Just A Band Connecting With Fans?

from the is-it-an-ad-or-is-it-memorex? dept

About a week ago, a band named Atomic Tom apparently had all of its instruments stolen, but as the story goes, they still had their iPhones and the will to continue. So they filmed themselves performing one of their songs on a NYC subway — playing their iPhones, instead of their usual instruments. The band got some attention for this stunt, and along with it, questions like: “Did they really have their instruments stolen? Was this performance really impromptu? Did Apple pay them to advertise for the iPhone?” You can watch the video for yourself here:

The video certainly seems polished enough to warrant questions about how much planning must have gone into making it. But does it really matter? Isn’t the best advertising the kind of advertising that you don’t care if it’s advertising? Even if this performance is a well-orchestrated (no pun intended) publicity stunt, the band is still offering up this entertainment for free to attract new listeners (and presumably to help pay for new instruments, someday in the future). That’s just a smart business move.

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Comments on “A Publicity Stunt Or Viral Ad — Or Just A Band Connecting With Fans?”

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24 Comments
me says:

When I first saw their vid I thought….wow what a great story and then realized that these guys are really good. I’ve read a few stories since questioning if this was a publicity stunt and was the story about them having their instruments stolen really true. And after thinking about it all I’ve come to one conclusion….WHO CARES IF IT’S A STUNT! The song is great and I’ve watched the vid about a dozen times since. Kudos to them one way or another. They have got themselves a number of new fans because of it…myself included.

Mojo says:

“The video certainly seems polished enough to warrant questions about how much planning must have gone into making it.”

Polished? It was shot on an iPhone with existing light and in basically one take. I don’t see the polish you are referring to!

Advertisement or not, the fact that this band performed all their respective parts with smartphone apps (iPhone or not) is really damn cool.

Probably also helps that the music is relatively simple, but that in turn shows off their songwriting skill!

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

I'll have to look these people up

I showed this to a friend of mine (that’s the intent ether way isn’t it) and while I was I figured I’d dissect it.

I’m leaning to the “it’s true” side. If it was staged I think the audio and video would be better. The iPhone would be much more prominent, they would say it’s an iPhone right at the beginning instead of the end where it can be easily missed (I almost did the first time). They would all be using the new iPhone 4 instead of what looks like a mix of ones and twos.

OK, I guess that means I don’t think it was payed for by Apple, it may have been staged by Atomic Tom. Ether way, I’m going to look them up now.

Spectere (profile) says:

Re: I'll have to look these people up

It actually looks to me like all of them but the keyboardist have iPhone 4’s. His appears to have rounded edges, which is a telltale sign of a pre-4 iPhone (though it’s hard to be sure which — the 3G and 3GS look identical when held, and the original’s looks identical at more than a short distance). The video is also available in 720p, so the people recording it are using either iPhone 4s or fourth generation iPod touches (and considering the clarity, I doubt it’s the latter).

On an slightly related note, the fact that I’m going into any sort of detail on this is a pretty good indication that I need to go outside more.

TechDan says:

On Puns

Mike, I enjoy reading TechDirt a lot, so I say this to improve your writing beyond it’s already exceptional quality.

Don’t acknowledge puns. Ever. Reasons:

1. If the pun was truly a mistake, it would have been changed.
2. By acknowledging it, you acknowledge your own cleverness and intellectual superiority to those who might have missed the pun, which is incredibly douchetastic.
3. Anyone that is also clever enough to get the puns can share an instant inside joke, thus making that point of the article more enjoyable.
4. Anyone who first misses the pun can no longer be blissfully unaware and thus will look upon the article negatively.

Puns are fun. Nobody enjoys being told that they should be having fun when they aren’t.

Don’t acknowledge your puns because it removes the fun for everyone. Unless you enjoy being a douchebag, which I highly doubt.

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