Coldplay Digipack Case Study This digipack is based on the well known band- Coldplay. I have began this case study with biographical information and then I have gone on to analyse the digipack involving all the promotional material including the music videos. Unlike previous digipack’s which I have looked at, this one I have looked at in more detail getting a more detailed overlook.
Biographical Information.. <ul><li>They formed in London in 1998 - The group consists of Chris Martin (lead vocals, keyboard and guitar), Jonny Buckland (lead guitar), Guy Berryman and Will Champion (drum, backing vocals) - They first received worldwide fame after releasing the song ‘yellow’ followed by their debut album parachutes (2000) - A Rush of Blood to the Head was the follow up album which won multiple awards - They have sold over 50 million records worldwide - Chris Martin is now married to Actress Gwyneth Paltrow with whom he has two children with - The band members all met at UCL, University College of London in 1996 and then spent time planning the formation of their band in which they called themselves Starfish, they performed at various gigs around London - Chris Martin also organised for his long time friend Phil Harvey to be the manager of the band who was studying classics at Oxford University </li></ul><ul><li>- The band later changed their name to Coldplay which has remained the same ever since and was suggested by a local student </li></ul><ul><li>In December of 1998, they signed to an independent label- Fierce Panda, they then signed to Parlophone for an album contract which gained them more popularity after the song The Blue Room was released even allowing them to be played on Radio 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Coldplay had a unique approach from other bands, they shared all their profits equally and would fire a band member if they took hard drugs </li></ul><ul><li>- Coldplay had a unique approach from other bands, they shared all their profits equally and would fire a band member if they took hard drugs </li></ul><ul><li>- Coldplay’s first full album Parachutes was released in July 2000 in which was predicted to sell 400,000 copies but sold a huge 1.6 million and was later nominated for a mercury prize. It also gained them success in countries such as the US later on where it was taken well by critics and they began to tour globally </li></ul>
<ul><li>Coldplay then released A Rush of Blood to the Head where they continued touring and selling thousands of albums </li></ul><ul><li>They received ‘best record of the year’ for clocks </li></ul><ul><li>Critics have often compared Coldplay to U2 </li></ul><ul><li>New York Times named them ‘the most insufferable band of the decade’ </li></ul><ul><li>In October 2006, Martin returned back to work for his fourth album known as Viva La Vida </li></ul><ul><li>At this time they also took a break from recording to tour around Latin America including countries such as Chile </li></ul><ul><li>When asked about the future of the band, they say they are excited about the future and writing new songs without knowing fully which direction they are going in </li></ul><ul><li>Their music style has been referred to as Alternative Rock and are becoming more increasingly recognised as a band similar to Oasis </li></ul><ul><li>Coldplay are a band which is very serious about selling their songs to other media industries for product endorsements </li></ul><ul><li>They often give money to charity and work to raise awareness, they give 10% of their profits to charity </li></ul><ul><li>Coldplay has also supported the ‘meat free Monday’ where we have at least one day a week away from meat helping to slow climate change </li></ul>
Magazine Shoots Coldplay clearly advertises itself without just focusing on CD covers and the typical promotional goods e.g. a poster and music video; they allow themselves to be under the public eye when working with mainstream magazines such as Rolling Stone. This allows them to become even more popular depicting their musical talent and dedication to their fans and also in allowing others to listen to their music by promoting it through various mediums. After analysing Coldplay in terms of biographical information, it is clear that they are not as conventional as other music bands where drugs are a part of their lives and arguments lead to band break ups e.g. the recent oasis break up. Coldplay seem more stable and throughout the covers they are all pictured as a group showing how they are working together well producing music for their fans and by refusing hard drugs they are showing their professional perception on their work and passion. There are mainly long shots which are shown in the music videos often again showing them as a band but due to their CD covers being very abstract it allows the audience to relate these magazine cover shoots to the CD covers, magazine covers can be a part of the digipack as they are a promotional item.
Their website… <ul><li>Throughout the website I have noticed how professional and artistic it is, it is not a conventional website which uses simple plain colours but it uses art and graphics throughout which catches attention from the audience and conveys the bands style of music which is imaginative and unique. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.coldplay.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>This is their website home page which is clearly professional conveying an organised selection of links which lead to what individual fans may be interested in. It gives the impression that Coldplay are dedicated to their music and continue to advertise and promote themselves in different ways, this unusual website draws the audience in by Coldplay speaking about their thoughts and experiences on a blog diary. The background art is very creative and appears hand drawn allowing the website to be very personal and honest giving the target audience more interest when observing each web page. They even have a link to Oxfam showing their charity work and kindness in promoting charity work linking to the well known biographical statement that they give 10% of their earnt profits in raising awareness and to selected charities. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.coldplay.com/disco.php </li></ul><ul><li>This link shows how they are unusually promoting their music, fans may recognise songs from being played on the radio or music channels etc and therefore intend on buying the album. It clearly portrays the CD covers also creating a clear intertextuality example for the audience to recognise. </li></ul>
<ul><li>http://www.coldplay.com/timeline.php </li></ul><ul><li>This link is a page on the Coldplay website, it is biographical information stating where they were and what events they attended during the years of their fame and before. There are hand written messages by Chris Martin and other band members which are informal but this allows the audience to see from their perspective and point of view. It is a unique selling point where the audience feel as though they are part of the band on the same journey as Coldplay and experiencing the same emotions and eventful situations as they have read. It draws the audience in as mentioned before. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.coldplay.com/post_listroadie42.php </li></ul><ul><li>This is one of the most recent blog posts by Coldplay stating their feelings and different days in the life of a music band. The beginning of this post is negative and realistic, it allows people from more ordinary lives to relate to Coldplay and fans have the ability to follow them where they travel. These blog posts are honest, informal and realistic and are easy to read which creates fun intriguing knowledge bringing the audience into their lives and how they each individually live their lives. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.coldplay.com/post.php </li></ul><ul><li>This link is similar to the home page, but has individual sections accompanied by photographs, videos, interviews and written comments by the band itself. It is clearly obvious that professionals have helped to form the band with how well done it is, it is easy for people to look around the website and to select and read certain pieces of information giving them a better idea of what it is like to be Coldplay. Websites such as these give a humble impression also portraying that going to their concerts etc will be fun by looking at the entertaining imagery of them. </li></ul>
Merchandise This merchandise varied in price but remained reasonable, there is clearly a wide variety of products for Coldplay fans to choose from, they include clothing and accessories for everyday life such as a bag and keying. These products are simple and can be bought elsewhere but with the Coldplay decorations: it creates individual products that are eye catching. After listening to their music and looking through their fascinating website, the audience will also look through this selection of merchandise. They all are a part of the promotional products and digipack clearly conveying intertextuality within as fonts, images and designs from the CD covers and from other events such as tours are on these products allowing people to immediately refer to their own recollections of the band.
Album CD Covers <ul><li>These album covers are artistic and impressive similar to Coldplay’s website, the use of design has helped to form these unique covers, with the use of photograph manipulation, graphics and art Coldplay has developed a digipack which is distinct and fascinating. They all do not have Coldplay band members on as mentioned before but they do frequently appear on magazine covers, posters, music videos and interviews but their CD covers are famously known for representing the songs themselves and what they may mean whilst linking to the title of the album. </li></ul><ul><li>Parachutes album cover depicts a globe spinning, much like when a parachute falls down to Earth- everything becomes blurred with the speed and amazement </li></ul><ul><li>Viva La Vida is about olden days and in the song it mentions having a King representing traditional times and therefore traditional (possibly religious) art has been used as the background with hidden meanings such as fighting until your death </li></ul><ul><li>The cover of X&Y is abstract much like the title itself which is unusual </li></ul><ul><li>The face on ‘a rush of blood to the head’ appears as though its fading slowly which is very metaphoric </li></ul>
Single CD Covers These single covers link to the album covers, for example, the single ‘violet hill’ from the Viva la Vida album is a different image but gives the same impression of religious traditional art, which ironically is modern when using it in a contemporary fashion as Coldplay does. Each single is more individually selected to suit the song yet interlinks with the album, its as though the main album cover illustrates the atmosphere and the overall portrayal from the songs yet the singles are more distinct to each song. The single CD cover for the song ‘yellow’ has a yellow/ orange coloured background whilst having the abstract photography remain, the single for the track ‘trouble’ links to the image of fire which appears as though it is spreading but at the same time it is beautiful, as the photograph manipulation shows each detail of flames which could also be argued as artistic. The other single which has caught my attention is ‘shiver’: the cover for this song is more negative with unusual line structures and lengths including which directions they are going which links to the uncontrollable behaviour of shivering, this catches the audiences attention in a different way from the other singles as it could be metaphorical for emotions.
Coldplay Poster Analysis This poster is unique and simple, it advertises Coldplay as a band, which they are, it conveys how they are modern with the use of contemporary photography. The name ‘Coldplay’ is in block capitals stating how they are important, against the white background it allows the band name to become more emphasised. The background of the poster appears to be a realistic environment showing how they can easily be related to and also how their songs are honest. This poster differs greatly from the previous one in many ways, it also shows how a band can change from their first album until their last showing development and the change in their confidence to express themselves more personally or through a more eccentric sense. The font for this poster gives the impression of classical music, this interlinks with the art which is very traditional but also shocking with the violence showing how its unique and fascinating.
This poster contradicts the title of the song in which is was designed for, it is abstract and creative showing how simple can still be professional. The characteristics show blurriness in the imagery showing how you cannot focus and therefore do not know your own place or on the other hand it is your place in terms of metaphorically. I am discussing this poster despite it not being designed to advertise a single but instead to advertise a tour. There however are still some similar characteristics to the poster in comparison to others, such as the sketching which is a unique selling point showing how Coldplay as a band are individual turning to talent and not always the conventional photograph of the band. This poster is extremely similar to the album cover of ‘a rush of blood to the head’, as discussed before the head is slowly disappearing like sand- this is eccentric allowing the audience to easily recognise it and relate the poster and Album cover together.
Music Videos <ul><li>http://new.music.yahoo.com/videos/Coldplay/Viva-La-Vida--157417610 </li></ul><ul><li>This video interlinks with the album cover of Viva la Vida mainly due to the mise en scene which gives the impression of traditional art, the reds, oranges and browns creates a suspenseful era similar to when Kings and Queens were a huge part in society where power and authority was essential. The lyrics discuss about power, Martins shirt which has red pattern on represents blood and how he has come far for power to be the King. The weather is changing very inconsistently in the background, this is intriguing with the obvious use of technology. Chris Martin’s face has been edited which draws the audience in from what they usually expect his appearance to be like. The editing fits in with the music beat and cuts to the instruments when they are introduced to the song, this allows the audience to understand what each band member is doing. </li></ul><ul><li>http://new.music.yahoo.com/coldplay/videos/view/fix-you--22406038 </li></ul><ul><li>This song: Fix you represents negative emotions, this fits in with Martin’s expressions shown through the medium close ups and close up camera shots, it is clear through the environment that he feels low and in a depressive mood. The derelict buildings in the dark show loneliness and how he intends to escape from it. When the song becomes more happier then he starts to run which shows how he is escaping into someone more happier, it contrasts deeply from the slow music before and when he enters the stadium of people showing how he is supported and anything is possible despite how unexpected. When he sings about there being a light, there is the link from the lyrics and to the music video, people can also easily relate to the song which draws them in. </li></ul><ul><li>http://new.music.yahoo.com/coldplay/videos/view/clocks--2156462 </li></ul><ul><li>For the song Clocks, which was very popular has an effective music video allowing it to be promoted further. The main aspect advertised through the video is the music itself with there being many shots of the instruments, them playing live and the band members faces whilst performing. The different shots, angles and mise en scene fit well with the music, at the beginning of the video it appears dark yet when the music begins light shines through which gives the portrayal of beauty from the song. The differing colours of flashing lights in the background shows how they are under the spotlight. The behaviour from the band members is unique conveying their eccentric personalities which adds more unique selling points to the video. </li></ul>