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Breathing new life into a John Carpenter classic

Breathing new life into a John Carpenter classic
Rik Haslam discusses the IPA Direct Marketing Group's competition, which sets junior creatives the challenge of promoting a vinyl re-release of the 'Assault on Precinct 13' film soundtrack.

The other day a colleague asked me what the hell a lovingly remastered, reissued vinyl-only release of John Carpenter’s classic film soundtrack Assault on Precinct 13 has to do with direct marketing.

Well, for me it all depends on what you think direct marketing is. My agenda as Chair of the IPA’s Direct Marketing Group, is to try and persuade anyone who’s interested that it is data-driven, direct creativity that’s most suited to creating solutions for a connected world.

In these days where pretty much everything can be targeted, triggered, dynamically personalised and instantly shared and measured, most serious marketers agree that it’s the direct marketer’s toolkit that is best able to make sense out of all the noise.

But I think there’s a piece missing from the jigsaw: for me that’s an appreciation of how our industry can harness culture on a human level to add an emotionally compelling experience layer of creativity and engagement to our very clever and scientific solutions.

That’s why I think it’s totally relevant to celebrate how effective direct craft could be in supporting Death Waltz Records’ latest soundtrack release.

The challenge 

We’ve asked junior creatives to submit 90 second videos bringing to life their ideas on how best they’d support the launch of this classic, cult soundtrack.

We’ll be showcasing the best entries at a live music event at RADA on September 24th. Spencer Hickman, the label founder, will choose the winning team who’ll have a £10,000 budget to make their idea a reality.

In cultural terms Assault on Precinct 13 marked a key moment in modern music. Electronic music artists such as Daft Punk cite John Carpenter’s masterly soundtrack as a seminal moment in electronica. Afrika Bambaata, Tricky, Bomb The Bass and many other electronic and hip hop artists have used samples from the soundtrack.

The passion for vinyl as a physical object and the carefully considered craft that Death Waltz put into their sleeve notes and album design (often working with celebrated artists such as Dinos Chapman) also chime with other cultural trends such as collaboration, the maker movement and an increasing delight in the marriage of digital and physical objects.

Death Waltz also understand that influential niche communities can be a gateway through which to reach broader audiences and help them discover and enjoy new experiences.

Showcasing the value of direct marketing 

So by asking young direct marketing creatives for ideas to help launch the album we’re hoping to demonstrate a few things:

  • The power of direct marketing creativity in a connected world.
  • Direct marketing’s ability to harness culture and leverage powerful trends to create genuine engagement.
  • To showcase the intelligence that direct marketers bring to generating insights from networks of people with real passions.

The live music event at RADA will also feature a screening of John Carpenter’s classic film, artist performances and DJ sets. It’ll be a great opportunity for the direct marketing industry to celebrate its creativity and showcase its evolving role in a connected world.

I look forward to seeing you there and chatting more about why a criminal gang’s relentless attack on a south Los Angeles police station is the perfect vehicle to help talk about what direct marketing can do best today.

Find out more about how to enter the IPA's Direct Creative competition.  

Last updated 03/09/2013

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