In an op-ed on Slate’s culture blog Browbeat, an Austin resident named Ian Dille wrote about the guerilla marketing campaign for Arcade Fire’s Reflektor and how its use of public art/graffiti tactics didn’t sit well with him and his wife, who first saw a spray-painted Reflektor logo on the framing store she works in. The couple are longtime fans of the band, and particularly proud of frontman Win Butler’s Texas heritage, but took issue when the mystery tag was revealed as advertising and turned into a wall full of plastered-on posters:
If you’re a talented young artist who considers the urban environment your canvas, by all means, spray-paint a building. If you’ve got a radical social agenda and you think spray-painting property is the best way to convey your message? Go ahead. If you’re a gangbanger and you want to mark your territory, I can learn to live with that.
But if you’re an internationally renowned band that’s defacing public and private property for promotional purposes, maybe go back to the drawing board, and think some more about how you want to let people know about your music.
After being published, the blog post garnered attention from Butler himself, who issued an apology. Check out his handwritten apology letter below.
Reflektor is out 10/29 via Merge.
[Photos by Ian Dille]