User generated content that rocks – pop songs into comics

Virpi OinonenUser generated content doesn’t always have to be photos or videos.

Couple of years ago I took part in a curated fan art project called “69 Love Songs, Illustrated”. The aim was to illustrate all 69 songs on the Magnetic Fields’ concept album of the same name.

But the band PR people didn’t get it

I remember asking the project lead/curator if she had been in touch with the record company or the band’s PR people about it. She said that she had, but that they never came back to her.

If you’ve ever looked after the social media presence of a brand you know how hard it is to find unique and shareable visual content. What a missed opportunity for the people who curate the band’s social media presence!

Bear in mind: this is a band that writes quirky, tongue-in-cheek songs and whose fan base consists of urban hipsters. This project would have provided the band’s social media channels shareable content for over a year (if you post one strip a week). For the band’s fans these strips would have carried a lot of meaning and potentially rekindled their relationship with the band. And if they had shared the strips in their Facebook feeds they would have raised the curiosity of thousands of potential new fans.

It would be interesting to know what the band’s publicist thinks about the project. Here are couple of my favourite strips:

  • Xylophone Track” – dark and moody
  • I’m sorry I love you” – a girls’ comic book theme suits the country vibe of the song
  • Punk Love” – pretty much sums up the repetitiveness and, well, punkiness of the song

My track was “Meaningless”. I’m a fan of visual metaphors, but I’m not sure where the polar bear came from…

Magnetic Fields Meaningless_by_virpi_Oinonen

Random fact: this is also my first comic strip that I drew on the iPad.

– Virpi

By | 2018-01-26T20:56:35+00:00 August 1st, 2013|Visual content marketing|1 Comment

About the Author:

Professional visual simplifier. Former digital campaigner.

One Comment

  1. Paul Smith October 15, 2013 at 12:17 - Reply

    They do make very good social objects and they could very easily create a pull towards the 69 Love Songs album and then into the more recent catalog. I’ve linked a few on Pintrest and they have a steady stream of re-pins and surprised happy reactions. Printed and bound and with some limited edition print versions and packaged with a remastered album version would be very marketable. I guess the issues of negotiating rights and ownership with a diverse socially contributing group of artists makes it seem hard to do – but I reckon most of us that did contribute to it are just happy to participate (possibly different in my case because art is my hobby, not my profession). I also presume that overt marketing activities and social engagement isn’t a thing The Magnetic Fields are that into and they probably don’t encourage / request their label to engage with it much either (although brilliantly their twitter account notes they follow 69 people).

    BTW – I loved your take on Meaningless. The Polar Bear’s alien and unexpected, he’s lovelorn and bereft, floating on his own. He’s drunk, blue and he’s vanishing – it’s perfect!

    Thanks for the comments on ‘I’m Sorry I Love You’ – a 50’s romance comic pastiche but with a transgender twist seemed to really suit the song. Tthe top right logo takes the comics code approved logo and makes it ‘approved by the transgender comics code’ – a nod to the history of sexuality and gender issues censorship in the code that was born in the 50’s following ‘The Seduction Of The Innocent’ scandal in 1954. I was working at Mulberry at the time, hence there’s a quilted mini Bayswater handbag in there too. The calendar implies ‘summers gone’ and the ‘interrupting a beautiful dream’ line references this song following ‘Busby Berkley Dreams’ on the album (which I also did a version of, but didn’t submit that before someone else nabbed it 😉 ).

    I keep thinking of doing the same for the Kitchens Of Distinction.

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