Coldplay sneaks ads in local papers to promote new album

The band ditched a mega campaign in favour of fan letters and ads in the classified section of newspapers in Devon, north Wales, Sydney and more

As the music industry continues to evolve, a certain number of artists have been shaking up the norm when it comes to album promotion. While social media has allowed newer artists to experiment and take matters into their own hands – announcing album launches through personal tweets or Instagram posts – others are building on their longstanding influence and dedicated fan base with unusual forms of communication.

The National has been known to play with the promo format, enlisting Pentagram to create a corporate identity and merch range for its album Sleep Well Beast, while earlier this year, Thom Yorke quietly announced his visual album ANIMA with a series of cryptic adverts dotted around the London Underground. Now, Coldplay has adopted a similarly obscure approach, announcing its forthcoming album Everyday Life in a suitably everyday format: newspaper ads.

The ads included a track listing and release date, and were spotted in the classified section of newspapers in Devon and north Wales. (Chris Martin and guitarist Jonny Buckland both have connections to these areas respectively, with Buckland having worked at the North Wales Daily Post – the newspaper of choice for this campaign.) Classified ads also cropped up in French national paper Le Monde, the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Otago Daily Times in New Zealand, while a black-and-white poster spotted in Madrid showed Coldplay disguised as a 1920s band.

The campaign also saw Coldplay turn to another classic format: fan mail. The band sent a typewritten letter to a number of fans, which was first assumed to be a fake, despite being signed by all four band members. “For the last 100 years or thereabouts, we have been working on a thing called Everyday Life,” it read. “It will be a double album, split into two halves, called Sunrise and Sunset, and released on 22 November.”

The campaign is decidedly analogue – and far from typical in its use of fan mail and print ads over billboards or social media ads – but it gained traction online immediately and has been shared extensively on fans’ social media and mainstream news sites alike.