Linkin Park have tied in the release of their new album “Living Things” by allowing the new film “Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Slayer” to use the last track off the album “Powerless” as the films closing song.
This is symbiotic partnership marketing of a classic kind.
Linkin Park market “Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Slayer” to their fans through twitter and facebook and also their official website. They are therefore marketing the film in a very brand endorsed, money can't buy way.
Meanwhile the film markets the Linkin Park single and therefore the new album to a potentially new set of young fans (the fact that the song is not available on the soundtrack reminds everyone that the only way to buy the song is to buy the new album).
Linkin Park has previous for the Vampire connection having “Leave out all the rest” on the original “Twilight” soundtrack. “Twilight” really set the ball rolling by combining music and the vampire movie genre, especially the kind that appeals to teenagers.
Paramore, Muse, Death Cab for Cutie and more Paramore feature on the various “Twilight” soundtracks but the marketing goes way beyond merely being featured on the soundtrack. Paramore created a special song “Decode” for the first “Twilight” album (with yet more Paramore if you bought the album at Borders although you would have to find a Borders first of course…..). Many have followed in a similar vein realizing that they can find an entirely new audience by tapping into this positive association and connection with the fashionable vampire genre.
Death Cab For Cutie created “Meet me on the equinox” especially for the “Twilight – New Moon”. It can have a weird effect on an audience for a group as I found out when seeing Death Cab in Singapore recently.
The audience was a mix of 30/40+ who knew every classic song and album track and a whole new teen/early 20’s audience who only knew one song…….yes you’ve guessed it, the Twilight song “Meet me on the equinox”. Ironically the loyal fans who knew every album track had no idea what this unknown song was because of course it wasn’t on any Death Cab album! Once “Equinox” had been played half the audience went home!
The National submitted a song for the first Twilight film only for it to be rejected and then when they became more famous were asked again only for them to reject Twilight!
The Underworld series of films have always featured some dark and gothic like songs within their four films and their popularity keeps rising with the latest film “Awakenings” being their most popular yet.
Vampire TV Series have also followed suit combing music with content, soundtrack with atmospheric pop music. “True Blood” and “The Vampire Diaries” lead the way although neither has asked for specially written music for their programs. Maybe that is next, no logical reason why that shouldn’t work the magic that films have done for contemporary rock and pop.
“Buffy the Vampire Slaye”r was of course trend setter in this space many years before Twilight was a mere sparkle in 20th Century Fox’s eyes. Music was always key to the look and feel of the program’s brand. Alongside the score, most episodes featured indie rock music, usually at the characters' venue of choice, The Bronze. Buffy music supervisor John King explained that "we like to use unsigned bands" that "you would believe would play in this place". It gives the show bite......