Create your own Kaiser Chiefs album
For the release of their new album, The Future is Medieval, UK band Kaiser Chiefs have collaborated with Wieden + Kennedy London to create a website that allows fans to design their own album cover and bespoke selection of tracks, and even make money from their creations...
The site, kaiserchiefs.com, features a series of 'machines' that users interact with to create their own album. First up, you're invited to choose the tracks that you want to feature on your album, by plugging wires into a weird selection of objects that each represent a song:
Once your song choices are complete, you then move along to the 'artwork creator', where you can pick from a range of images and backgrounds to create your individual cover. Here are some we made earlier:
Once completed, you can purchase your album (for £7.50), and are then given the option to sell your bespoke version of The Future is Medieval via the Kaiser Chiefs site. For each copy of your individual album that is sold, you will receive £1 in commission. The site also offers blog banner ads and posters for you to promote your particular cover/playlist via your own website/blog etc. The band will then reward 'super-sellers' with special prizes announced later on Facebook and Twitter.
The film below shows how one lucky fan, Alex, had a chance to create his individual album for the site, analogue style:
Go to kaiserchiefs.com to make your own.
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Not forgetting uber interactive production company Specialmoves without whom we would never have got the bespoke platform off the ground.
Alex Franklin. W+K London
The thing I like about this is the idea of giving fans the tools to do the donkey work for PR/Marketing/Advertising bods.
Genius... music on demand like tv on demand the way the World should be.... your the music director....
Bye Bye designers. It's been nice.
Very clever and unique idea. The fans will love to visit their site and create their own personalized album. I went to take a look at the website and created my own album cover and it looks exactly as I wanted it. :)
I hope they will be the next Cold Play in the making.
I've just made the perfect Khazi Chefs album. That's right, it has no music on it. Yay me.
Says a lot about the amount of money record sleeve design these days.
Great Idea. Breathing a little life back into a format that's going in the same direction as the cassette.
How does the distribution method for this work? Distributing CDs different to each other? Or is it only digital?
Why does the Kaiser Chiefs logo have to always be fixed, above and centered, on the album cover?
Corporate guidelines: can't get away from 'em.
As a music lover who still finds something wonderful in actually owning a well thought out piece of album art, and as a designer who works on art for physical releases almost weekly, I hate this.
I admire the execution of the concept, and the appeal it will have to die-hard fans, and those of us who don't care to clog our living spaces with plastic discs, or vinyl. But there is also something about buying an album and knowing that the tracks are in a specific order, because the band intended for them to be listened as such.
This idea would never fly with me. But when a host of bands I love are putting out some amazing physical packages at the moment (see Okkervil River's latest deluxe album), I suppose there is enough to please both the physical purists, and digital lovers who still want a bit more than just an MP3.
Or maybe I'm just scared that I'll be out of a job sooner than I'd hoped?
It was an inevitable step. Pick your own fruit, scan your own groceries, make your own album. We're all having to do our own donkey work now.
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