Google+ Consumer Psyche: EMINEM & Twitter

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

EMINEM & Twitter

In the world of hip-hop, a five-year absence is an eternity. So for Eminem's new album, "The Relapse," the marketing team at Aftermath/Interscope Records has mounted an audacious campaign that playfully smears the lines between the rapper's troubled past and the nightmarish, fictionalized world of his latest work. By using Twitter to dispense short, often disturbing thoughts and links to multimedia components revolving around a mental institution, they've helped make the album the most highly anticipated hip-hop release of the year -- and set it up for a sequel in the second half of 2009.

While Eminem hasn't relied exclusively on Twitter to get the word out, the effort has produced some impressive results. According to Compete, Eminem.com reached 113,868 unique visitors during April, while the most popular of his tweets -- which linked to Therelapse.com on May 7 -- reached at least 41,704 people within just one week, according to an analysis of data provided to Ad Age by Tweetreach. And data provided by Native Digital, the start-up behind music-buzz tracker We Are Hunted, suggest that Eminem was the most-talked-about artist on Twitter last week, the week before the album's release.

Elliott Wilson, founder and CEO of RapRadar.com, said the micro-blogging tool is perfectly suited to the rapper, because it attracts voyeuristic fans the same way his autobiographical songs do. Mr. Wilson pointed out that one of Eminem's fictional characters, Stan -- a dangerously obsessive fan -- has, in the web lexicon, morphed into lowercase slang for a diehard yet non-violent admirer.

"Twitter is, in a way, the world of 'stans' who now have access to artists," Mr. Wilson said. Although Eminem is using the service in a "real typical promotion way, the fact that he's willing to be part of that, to be in that world, has helped him build up mystery around the record."

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