Daft Punk Integrated Marketing Success


Daft Punk rides the wave of free integrated marketing thanks to its fans.

Three months ago I was sitting in my living room, tweeting about the latest trend when a song come on the radio.  The funky beat and light vocal tones seemed familiar, almost as if I had heard it years before.  But the fresh feel of this Summer hit resonated within me, the way a new song you know you are going to play over and over does.  This song is, of course, ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk- the infectious tune that stayed at the number one spot on the UK singles chart for 4 weeks and has broken records, like the most streamed song on Spotify.

And, in case you have been away from any technology that emits music and you have somehow missed this hypnotising tune, play the video below:

So what, may you ask, does this electronic French duo have to do with integrated marketing? Well, surprisingly, a lot. The small team that was responsible for creating a buzz about Daft Punk’s fourth album, Random Access Memories, had a very interesting integrated marketing strategy. Instead of bombarding consumers with loud online YouTube banners about an upcoming album or releasing the full album for complete access, they decided to seduce the audience. In true French style, Thomas Bangalter (who is one half of Daft Punk) wanted to seduce people. In Bloomer Businessweek, Eric Spitznagel quotes Bangalter as saying he wanted people to get “excited about the music, and you cannot make people excited by giving them everything. It is a process of tempting, of teasing, of creating desire.”  This process started with a single post on their Facebook. It was their cryptic album cover, no words, no explanation, just the photo seen below, months before the lead single ‘Get Lucky’ was even released. But was this teaser successful?  The proof is in the results.  Daft Punk’s manager, Paul Hahn, explains the site averaged 50 hits a second with the traffic crashing their server within the first minute.

Marketing Tactics: The first Daft Punk teaser on Facebook:

Flock Associates Daft Punk Integrated Marketing Success

The next step in Daft Punk’s marketing strategy? Billboards. Set against the beautiful backdrop of palm trees and sunsets over the Hollywood hills of Los Angeles and other California scenery, the same cryptic album cover kept people wondering…what was to come?  But were these billboards effective?

Manager Paul Hahn admits he dislikes common Internet marketing tactics. But even without any investment in Internet advertising and no virtual communication, online buzz surrounded this new album and this new song that did not even have its own music video. Fans marketed Daft Punk themselves, by posting photos of these billboards onto Twitter and Instagram. Adding fuel to the fire, there were rumours that Daft Punk would attend Coachella Festival making fans desperate to confirm hearsay and spreading the word of this new album even more. Daft Punk prolonged the wait for their lead single, further teasing their audiences when they did not make it to the festival, instead airing the ‘Get Lucky’ music video featuring Pharrell.

An Instagram shot of a Daft Punk billboard in San Francisco:

Flock Associates blog

Finally, Daft Punk had one more choice of weapon in their marketing strategy: a 15 second clip of the song aired on television during Saturday Night Live. All of these tactics were aimed at Daft Punk’s key demographics, ensuring their minimalist marketing would get out to the right people.  Little content was produced to preserve the mystery Daft Punk wanted. Well thought out placing of this scarce content was the crucial factor in gaging a successful marketing plan.

It is quite ironic that this duo’s marketing team reverted back to old-fashioned, physical means of advertisement, with no real virtual platform except for a few ambiguous posts on their Facebook page, yet the online hype surrounding it was so great. With no official music video even made yet, fans cut their own videos along to ‘Get Lucky’ to fill in this missing gap. The tune spread like wild fire through the web to the point that it conquered music’s leading online program- Spotify.

Although this marketing strategy may seem effortless, its success was not a stroke of luck. Following various success with previous singles and providing the soundtrack to Tron: Legacy in 2010, the quality that Daft Punk has delivered garnered excitement from fans for their upcoming album. Their cool, laid-back approach heightened curiosity and in effect, organised integrated marketing for their album for free, through their followers.

Wayne Hemingway, founder of Red Or Dead and master of re-using refuse to produce a gold mine, mentions in “Daft Punk’s album Random Access Memories has returned to a time when investment in the music is put before the hype, with a campaign that allowed the fans to do the marketing for Columbia Records, leading to the fastest-selling album of the year.”

Google trend of search terms ‘daft punk’:

Flock Associates blog

They did not force the promotion of their record down peoples’ throats.  Instead, they let the music speak for itself, which was all they had to do to promote themselves in today’s truly connected world.

Daft Punk succeeded in enticing their fans to do most of their marketing for them. They mastered the online community with offline tactics. Some might say they are marketing geniuses, or they just got lucky. Either way, if you do not want to leave things to chance, do give us a call here.





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