That’s Daft!

Kevin King —  July 26, 2013 — Leave a comment

Daft-Punk-Helmets-Columbia-Album-artworkThe story behind this summer’s biggest song, “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk is a lesson library leaders should download.  During a time in which immediacy is the norm, the French duo decided that the release of the song would be set to a “slow simmer.”  The campaign started in February with a simple image on the band’s website.  Over the next few months snippets of the song would be featured on commercials and billboards with the bands’ iconic helmets would pop up in major markets.  Daft Punk did not use online marketing.  Instead they left it up to their fans to use social media to turn up the hype machine.  The band’s manager Paul Hahn states:

The song’s success was really about the audience’s response to our marketing, more than the marketing itself.  The mystery lets the audience’s imagination fill in the gaps.  What it tells us is, there’s a great unexpressed desire in audiences worldwide to be active and to participate and not be spoken to as just a passive entity. You have to engage an audience in a way that inspires their imaginations. You have to invite them to participate. (

“Get Lucky” is an amazing song because Daft Punk used a stealthy marketing plan to engage their audience in the process of making it a hit.  They did not spoon feed them a lame online marketing campaign, the duo selectively set free parts of the song and images that inspired the world to respond.  Have you check YouTube for how many fan created videos have been posted in the past few months?  Most importantly the song would not be playing on millions of iPods and radio stations if it wasn’t a well-crafted pop masterpiece.

Libraries will better succeed when they discover how to tap into the “unexpressed desire” in their community that will encourage their patrons “to be active and to participate and not be spoken to as just a passive entity.”  Our job as library leaders is to provide staff with the resources to discover what will get patrons dancing into our buildings.  Staff then need to use these tools to provide quality programs and market the library as a place of participation.  Often this process can take time, but sometimes you may get lucky and find yourself with a certified platinum hit.

Kevin King


Kevin King is the Head of Branch and Circulation Services at the Kalamazoo (MI) Public Library. Previously Kevin led Teen Services at KPL, where he helped build a nationally recognized program. Kevin has presented all over the country on many topics including teen services, innovation, graphic novels, and programming. As a member of ALA, YALSA, PLA and the Michigan Library Association, Kevin has served on various committees and has luckily won a couple of awards. In his spare time Kevin obsesses over the Detroit Tigers, listens to music and does his best to be a kick ass dad to Abigail and Rachael.

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