Have you seen what DEVO’s been up to lately?

18 06 2010

Like most these days, probably not. Remember DEVO that crazy weird quirky band of the 70’s and 80’s. You remember those nerdy dudes that dressed up in garbage bags and wore those weird red “energy dome” hats. Yeah Whip-It! and Girl You Want! and DEVOlution – yeah you remember now don’t you? Well guess what, they’re back. And its how they’re coming back that I think is worth watching. Personally I never much liked their music it was always a bit out there for me but now they’re back and they’ve gone corporate. They’ve sold out to the “big record company”. The title of the new album “Something for Everyone” says it all. DEVO’s gone mainstream. Now the Energy Domes are blue instead of red.  Get ready for DEVO, Inc.

Now I’m not a music critic so their music isn’t the  focus of this post. What I find fascinating is how they’re coming back.  They already have a well established brand and tons of fans, they just need to wake them up. And they’re doing it in a big way. At the heart of it is the Club Devo site where the story is told. They’ve got YouTube and Twitter and Facebook firing on all cylinders (I’m sure there’s got to be some print in this strategy somewhere) plus they took a page out of the old “give ’em a sample and they’ll come back for more” book by streaming their new album over and over on Ustream. The 24 hour Cat Listening Party was a bunch of kitty’s hanging out on a blue energy dome cat perch with all DEVO all the time playing in the background. There were people messing with the kitties (strings and lasers and such) to keep the action going because if you’ve owned cats, you know they’re not a motivated bunch. It was brilliant. I found myself listening to DEVO for part of the day and occasionally bringing up the kitty tab in my browser to see the latest.

Its weird but its a brilliant well executed marketing strategy. Don’t be surprised if you find DEVO racing up the charts very soon as this stuff continues to go viral and just in time to kick off their tour which begins Saturday June 19th in Las Vegas. A well known brand has been repackaged and served up for a whole new generation. Its a great illustration of the power of social media.

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