Are you a high-profile artist about to release a new album? Well you better not just tell people the name like in the olden days.
It’s all about cryptic messages these days. That’s right, you need to treat your work like a bonus round on Catchphrase, with tiny clue after tiny clue adding up to the eventual reveal.
It worked for Taylor Swift, and now it’s working for Eminem.
Swift’s sixth album, Reputation, was announced after the artist deleted her social media history and shared this clip.
Followed by this…
And eventually this.
Eminem’s promo work, however, required far more over-elaborate preparation, including setting up an entire dummy website.
It all began with this Instagram post from Eminem’s manager and Shady Records co-founder Paul Rosenberg.
To the untrained eye, it might look like a simple bit of promotion for the upcoming album Trial by Fire, from Shady artist Yelawolf.
Well, that and a drug advert in the background, but that’s probably unrelated, right?
But hey, that background does look a little artificial, on closer inspection.
Others thought the same, and upon looking even closer they saw the E on the advert in the background is back-to-front - a bit like a certain rapper.
Coincidence? There’s no such thing as coincidence.
Some eagle-eyed folks looked for the original of the ad and found this - taken out by Interscope Records, the label on which Eminem has released each of his studio albums since 1999’s The Slim Shady LP.
OK, now we don’t just have an ad, but we also have a website - askaboutrevival.com.
Go there, and you’ll find a video ad including phrases such as ‘Lose Yourself’ and ‘One Shot’ - sound familiar, Eminem fans?
“Revival is currently in clinical trials,” the script on the site reads - could that mean it’s the name of the new album in development?
Well, and if you scroll down you’ll see references to ‘Brain Damage’ (an early album track) and ‘I Need a Doctor’ (a collaboration between Eminem and Dr Dre), among other things, while people are urged to contact a doctor right away if they have one of a number of symptoms including sweaty palms and muscle aches.
That’s right, his palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.
(Images: Rex Features/Interscope Records)