Scary Smart

The members of Coldplay recently announced an international scavenger hunt via social media for handwritten lyrics from their new album, “Ghost Stories.” The band hid words to all of the album’s songs in books about ghosts in libraries around the world, beginning in Mexico City. There, one lucky scavenger hunter found Chris Martin’s lyrics for the lead single, “Magic,” in a copy of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

The band is giving clues to the location of the lyrics on its Twitter feed, and some of the sheets have already been found in Barcelona, New Zealand and New York before the band could even offer up the hints. The remaining eight sets of lyrics are in as-yet-unnamed cities, from major capitals to one town of fewer than 100,000 people. One envelope includes a “golden ticket” that includes a flight for the lucky finder and a friend to see Coldplay perform at London’s Royal Albert Hall on July 1.

The campaign is reminiscent of Jay-Z’s “Decoded” campaign with Droga5 and Bing a few years back—but it feels much more personal to fans because it gives them a chance to take part in offline action via libraries. Throw in the golden-ticket component and you’ve got your modern, rock-n-roll version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt?


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