Somewhere along the line, I signed up for a bunch of email alerts from various musical artists in the Universal label group and they seem to have me listed as having a January 2nd birthday. I just opened a bunch of emails to find a group of rock stars all wishing me a happy day. Nice thought, but it’s curious to see how well – or not – the marketing departments handled my special occasion.
Rufus Wainwright, for instance, goes directly to the sales pitch after a perfunctory HB greeting. “To celebrate your special day, why not grab yourself a beautiful Rufus box set?” And then, even if I wanted to order this 19 disc spectacular, the link connects me to a page that offers all sorts of stuff but NOT the set in question. I love you, Rufus, but that’s a major fail.
The Rolling Stones say something nice (“Hopefully you have a great day and make sure you blast out a few of your favourite Rolling Stones tracks to celebrate!”) before offering a discreet link to their web store.
Keane and Elbow don’t try to sell me anything, while Ellie Goulding and Florence + The Machine thank me for my support, and Snow Patrol suggest I celebrate with some good music and link me to their site, where I can stream some remixes.
But you know who actually makes the moment count? The Beeb! Justin Bieber’s message includes a link to a downloadable remix of him and Usher performing the traditional Happy Birthday song as part of a campaign for the American Cancer Society. The site also offers video greetings from more than 30 artists that you can customize and send to friends. There appear to be some glitches in the system – the link for a “personalized musician phone call” leads to an error message and I’m still waiting for the Debbie Harry test video I sent to myself – but the song’s worth grabbing for future use to enthrall young friends and/or embarrass older ones.