Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fall Out Boy release virus; lose control of it

Every sci-fi fan knows that if you think you can control the release of a virus, you're going to be very much mistaken. Pete Wentz, we have to conclude, isn't a sci-fi fan.

He (or, rather, the marketing team) had constructed a large-but-ultimately meaningless viral campaign for the next Fall Out Boy album. The virus, though, has been mutated by equally-uninspiring band Copeland, who set up a website with a typo URL to promote their next record, too.

Trouble is, Fall Out Boy fans don't take too kindly to people pointing out their deodorant-pushing hero might be less than perfect. Copeland, though, are denying they did anything malicious and reckon that Wentz would have done it if his people had had the idea:

"But, like I said, this wasn't done maliciously. And everything I've heard about Pete is that he's a marketing kind of guy; he's the king of making people talk and ruffling feathers, so he would've done the same thing if he could have. So if Fall Out Boy fans are mad about this whole thing, well, all I can say is that Pete would've done the same thing."

And Wentz? MTV asked him how he felt about his marketing campaign being hijacked. He was cross, but not at the hijacking:
"To me, this is not a marketing campaign. It is a way to cause excitement about your art and have people earn it and understand it. The campaign we began is not ultimately a record release or an announcement of a tour," he wrote in an e-mail. " '60---' [the name he's given the endeavor] has always been a project of a different nature. I don't believe the full campaign has begun, and I also believe people are taking over the ship in a truly viral way. It doesn't hurt anyone, and hopefully it tells the story of the project better and makes it more appreciated."

It's "not a marketing campaign", then. In the same way those calls carrying out a survey asking "if you could have your windows replaced for free how many would you have done" isn't a marketing campaign, either.

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