Perhaps we will remember 2013 in music as the year of hype: Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, Kanye’s Yeezus, and Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City all featured extensive and unconventional marketing campaigns, not to mention scores of crazed Internet fans fawning over their singles and leaked files. On-the-ground promotional stunts like projections, cryptic videos, and rooftop bus rides ranged from being labeled as fun and innovative to excessive and illegal. Mainstream, indie, whatever, it’s becoming impossible for fans to escape this new kind of “creative” advertising that’s sure to be the norm surrounding future high profile releases.
The tactics for Arcade Fire’s fourth studio album, Reflektor were no different – the Reflektor “logo”, based on Haitian veve drawings, sprung up in white spray paint and chalk on city walls all over the country. Even before it had an official name and release date, the album was hugely anticipated. In the month leading up to its release, the band temporarily became “The Reflektors,” performing secrets shows in masks and costumes, including a comical Saturday Night Live special directed by Roman Coppola.