The Art of the “Drop” -Years in the Making
“Anticipation leads the way to victory, and is the spur to conquest.”
Throughout history advertising and marketing campaigns have taken on many different forms, with blatant, direct, and obvious advertising; subtle, subliminal messages, and then there is the anticipation of the unknown… Perhaps not the complete unknown, but when just enough information is disseminated to the public in a careful and controlled manner.
A perfect example of how this was done was how the Prophets of Rage, who are hosting Trump’s Anti-Inaugural Ball, utilized this technique to slowly build up people’s curiosity. The ball is to protest Trump’s inauguration day, and regardless of your political allegiances, you can plainly see this style of marketing in how the band slowly revealed their existence, their intentions for the ball, and how this campaign was executed very well.
How did it all turn out you might ask yourself? Well not only is social media buzzing about a reunion that hasn’t happened for a decade, but the noise has gone viral. The anticipation and misinformation not only wetted people’s appetites and curiosity, but created even more eagerness to discover what the big secret was! Some of the first posters they put up around different areas was this:
This image doesn’t say much, it’s nothing but a very stark yet strong symbol, the very symbolic Former Soviet Union’s fist in the air does scream certain messages that I’m sure many people picked up on. Even the colour scheme is stark, though powerful. For anyone who is familiar with history, the idea behind communism was initially unity, and on paper at least, communism is a perfect system; but most importantly, this kind of image is eye catching and builds up a curiosity that, with today’s technology, would no doubt get people instantly scouring over Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and all the other social media platforms for a clue to what it meant. All this image did, beyond create a political intrigue because of the blatant historical associations, was create the kind anticipation that something big was coming.
Along with a countdown having been put up simultaneously on Rage Against the Machine’s website, the buzz created was of everyone asking if the band was getting back together since their breakup, over a decade ago, in 2000. Yes, they had gotten together to play a few times since, but they’ve never gotten back together officially. So, this was indeed big news!
Just like with music, when they use terms like the “build-up” and “drop” in terms of the audience’s excitement, this kind of marketing does the same thing, but on a much broader scale. The slower build up of people’s interests, occasionally giving out more information along the way, as in adding different artists to a possible get together, I.E, rappers from Public Enemy and Cypress Hill (both of whom were major influencers on Rage Against the Machine), would only go to increase the anticipation and expectations generated. As the clock on Rage’s website counted down, yet more information was slowly released until the news was out, the Prophets of Rage were here.
The pictures used, accompanied with the precisely timed dissemination of information along the way is brilliant marketing and advertising; all things needed to create a huge buzz and get people’s attention. To quote Tom Morello (one of those joining the group) “overthrowing that the status quo is fixed” along with all the other messages that Prophets of Rage embody, has been masterfully orchestrated. The band members are also very much purporting the idea of #Takethepower back, which has been symbolized by one of the final band images and advertisements, again throwing back a nod to the strength of the former Soviet Union’s message: power to the people.