Today, Daft Punk, the French electro duo known for producing hits such as “One More Time” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” released a preview of the group’s new album “Random Access Memories” via iTunes; the full album will be released next week. While this may seem like a tiny announcement in the lead up to the launch, it’s actually heightened the momentum and buzz that the duo has created over the last month.
Random Access Memories has been one of the most highly anticipated albums in recent memory, and from a PR perspective, one of the best launches that I’ve ever witnessed. What’s crazy is that the product hasn’t even shipped! As I listened to the album this morning, I tried to break down why the launch has been so successful. Here’s the timeline of what’s happened thus far:
- The “leak” of “Get Lucky” – Every year, there are rumors that Daft Punk will play a spontaneous set at Coachella, arguably the most popular of the U.S. music festivals. With the launch date of “Random Access Memories” announced prior to the music festival, the rumor reached a fevered pitch. While the duo didn’t make a live appearance, they played a short clip of the new album’s first single “Get Lucky” at Coachella on Saturday, April 13. And later that night, a one-minute ad of “Get Lucky” ran during Saturday Night Live (SNL). Social media buzzed about this launch and there have been hundreds of YouTube videos ripping, remixing and looping the Coachella and SNL versions.
- Select interviews – Daft Punk rarely does interviews, but as of late, the duo has been holding court with the most influential radio shows in the world including BBC Radio 1 with Pete Tong and Australia’s Triple J Radio. While all artists speak to press prior to a big release, it’s worth noting that the duo is known for being mysterious and aloof. They usually don’t do any interviews and both members wear trademark robot masks during all performances including a cameo in “Tron: Legacy Era.” No new tracks were released during the interview, but it did provide insight into what went into making the album and heightened the anticipation for the release.
- Soft launch via iTunes – Today, the group allowed people to stream and pre-order the album via iTunes. I’ve already seen multiple Facebook posts linking to leaked files. In addition to the soft release, Daft Punk has been holding silent disco-style listening parties in both Amsterdam and London (apparently, phones were taken away at the door to preempt recording devices, and attendees were provided with headsets of the album).
- Official release date of the album – “Random Access Memories” will be officially released on May 21.
The results have been phenomenal thus far. Many pundits are calling the single “Get Lucky” the song of the summer, and it’s already a foregone conclusion that “Random Access Memories” will go platinum multiple times. From a social media perspective, “Daft Punk” and “#RAM” are trending right now on Twitter. Kudos to the agency/PR exec that launched this album. Whoever it is will certainly win a LOT of awards.