Two massive bands both rolled out ThingLink campaigns in the last week — and even though virtually the only thing they have in common is an alt-rock radio airplay, they both demonstrated that ThingLink can help push fan engagement around new albums into overdrive.
For the past ten years, Gorillaz have been one of the most visually and musically inventive bands — so it only made sense that they would carry that spirit into the announcement of their new singles collection. Their label, Parlophone, used a handful of ThingLink embeds throughout the front page of the Gorillaz site to create a version of a scavenger hunt — and the results were off the charts, with almost every visitor clicking through to content at one point.
Blink 182, the beloved pop-punk act that is reuniting for the first time in several years, also used ThingLink to help promote their new album, as well as a contest sponsored by Absolute Punk. ThingLink creative director Jonas Forth developed the animated cinemagraph of the album cover which first appeared on Absolute Punk, generating such positive feedback that Hypebot wrote it up, and it now appears on Blink 182’s homepage.
When I was on the road last week, as both these implementations were being rolled out, I was pitching ThingLink to artists big and small virtually non-stop. And I finally hit on the beauty of ThingLink — the user is really the one who determines what to make of it. Plenty of artists — hell, plenty of bloggers — can just use ThingLink for fun, to jazz up images, and experiment. I used ThingLink on my personal Tumblr to add videos to pictures of my dog and my favorite beer, just for giggles. But if you want to do something really meaty — animation, puzzles, scavenger hunts — that’s doable as well, and not all that much harder than simply embedding a track or video.
And for other labels — well, the gauntlet has been thrown down. Parlophone and Interscope released cool campaigns last week, Atlantic the week before; the big question is which label will rise to the challenge next?