Coldplay launches a worldwide #lyricshunt

Monday, 12 May 2014

In honor of @coldplay’s new album “Ghost Stories” out on May 19, the band used Twitter to create excitement, build engagement and give fans a unique chance to own some exclusive memorabilia by taking part in #lyricshunt.

This campaign was a clever way to keep the conversation about “Ghost Stories” flowing in the two weeks before the album. It also rewarded fans who follow Coldplay on Twitter. Here’s how the Coldplay scavenger hunt worked and how you can use this concept for your own important announcement:

Lead singer Chris Martin hand wrote the lyrics to all nine songs on the album, and these sheets were hidden inside of ghost stories at local libraries around the world. One hidden treasure included a grand prize “golden ticket” for an all-expenses-paid trip to London to see the band perform.

The band seeded location hints and cryptic photos through their Twitter account, and encouraged fans to send back in their pictures from the hunt.

In the first day, more than 14,000 Tweets were generated with the hashtag #lyricshunt.

Fans found lyrics in Mexico City, Helsinki, Barcelona, Singapore, New York, Dublin, Johannesburg, Kent (England) and Tauranga (New Zealand). One of the side benefits of hiding lyrics in famous books was the indirect involvement of verified authors on Twitter. Clive Barker’s “Mister B.Gone” was the ghost story selected for the lyrics hiding in Finland. Of the treasure hunt, Clive Barker told Twitter, “I’m honored to be a part of the festivities. I’m a firm believer in the movement. Anything that brings more readers to libraries is a worthwhile endeavor. And, ‘Viva La Vida’ is one of my favorite songs.”

In addition to the blizzard of activity around the #lyricshunt hashtag and significant new follower growth for @Coldplay, the campaign created press impressions like this detailed play-by-play from Noisey.

Next time you have a major milestone event like an album release or a tour announcement, consider hosting a scavenger hunt using Twitter. Coldplay’s #lyricshunt success can be summarized by these key takeaways:

  • A hashtag that is unique, relevant and simple — #lyricshunt
  • Personal and valuable prizes that any Coldplay fan would treasure, also relevant to the band’s album
  • Perfect timing with an April 28 launch for the #lyricshunt, three weeks before the band’s May 19 album release date
  • Meticulous planning to involve fans around the world by coordinating with metro libraries on various continents
  • Preparation for sending Twitter clues with cryptic Tweets that included Twitter photos to help lead fans closer to the prize

Twitter is a great platform for a scavenger hunt because clues and discoveries happen in real time. Current followers of Coldplay and engaged fans in countries worldwide were rewarded, while also raising awareness about the band’s new album, song titles and lyrics.

Do you know of other innovative uses of Twitter? Write to [email protected].