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"By the nature of the way the information came out, you've had a trail of breadcrumbs to the album...The way we approached this is 'Let's keep that trail coming.'"
—-Dennis Dennehy, Interscope

EMINEM USES OLD AND NEW MEDIA TO GET THE WORD OUT

With Relapse Hitting Street, Good Old-Fashioned Controversy Pays Off
Guess who’s back, back in town?

Why, it’s none other than our old pal Eminem, whose new Shady/Aftermath/Interscope album Relapse, which hits retail today, is his first in five years.

The label's multi-tiered marketing campaign has been using Twitter to send out short blurbs and links to other multimedia components revolving around the fictional mental institution/rehab facility, the cleverly named Pompsomp Hills, which serves as the background to his latest, disturbing horrorcore video for “3 A.M.

Manager Paul Rosenberg told Ad Age: “In the past, when we've tried to do things in a new way for Eminem, it was just more of OK, cookie-cutter types of ideas. But in this one we really pushed ourselves, because of the time we're living in, to create a different experience."

The tweets have included links to the album's cover, a screenshot of his upcoming paid iPhone and iPod Touch game, the "3 A.M." video and an interactive website for the fictional Pompsomp Hills developed by Omelet, an L.A.-based branding, advertising and entertainment agency.

Interscope publicity/marketing chief Dennis Dennehy said Twitter has been the perfect platform to build anticipation for the album's release, which was first announced last October.

"By the nature of the way the information came out, you've had a trail of breadcrumbs to the album," Dennehy told Ad Age. "The way we approached this is 'Let's keep that trail coming.'"

Eminem.com chalked up a total of 113,868 unique visitors during April, while the most popular of his tweets reached at least 41,704 people within a single week, making the rapper the most-talked-about artist on Twitter last week.

Eminem’s upcoming activities include a performance at the MTV Movie Awards on May 31, and cover stories in Vibe and XXL, the latter featuring the first part of a Punisher-Eminem comic in conjunction with Marvel; the second half is free online. The rap star appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live last Friday, and is planning to make two more appearances this week, bringing 200 laid-off autoworkers from his hometown of Detroit to one of the tapings. He also co-starred in animated form with Family Guy’s Stewie Griffin as the pair hosted Fox's Sunday animation block this past weekend.

Finally, some of Eminem’s song targets are generating their own media buzz. In "We Made You," his attacks on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin which predictably prompted the ire of conservative pundit Bill O'Reilly, and some have protested his digs at Heath Ledger in "My Mom" and the late Christopher Reeves in “Medicine Ball.” And his tirade against Mariah Carey for long-ago disses in “Bagpipes from Baghdad” has drawn the scorn of her husband, Nick Cannon, who has publicly called the rapper out and challenged him to a fight.

For Eminem, sometimes the best publicity is simply an old-school controversy.

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