The 1975 are defined as an English rock band, forming in Manchester in 2002 following members Matthew “Matty” “Healy, Adam Hann, Ross Macdonald, and George Daniel meeting in high school. Their self-titled debut album The 1975 was released in 2013, reaching number 1 in the UK weekly charts and certifying platinum just over a year later from release in September 2014. Following the success of their debut album with British labels Dirty Hit/Polydor, they released their second album ‘I like it when you sleep for you are beautiful yet so unaware of it’ in February of 2016. However, unlike the previous album which ultimately ‘tested the waters’ for the band in the UK pop/rock and charting markets, they engaged in a detailed and lengthy music marketing campaign.
Outline of the Campaign:
- Deleted all social media accounts; commonly known as ‘going dark’ on such accounts.
An ambiguous handwritten note, written by lead singer Matty Healy was distributed to fans in a single image format suggesting a big change and causing speculation amongst fans and critics alike that the band was splitting.
- An ambiguous handwritten note, written by lead singer Matty Healy was distributed to fans in a single image format suggesting a big change and causing speculation amongst fans and critics alike that the band was splitting.
- They changed the branding of the band from a previously monochrome, dark ‘grunge’ look to a pink and white aesthetic by relaunching their social media with a block of solid pink and distributing an elusive mailer to their 200k strong database displaying the new neon sign icon. (Pictured to the right.)
- Further notes were released, teasing fans with the suggestion of new music and future larger announcements.
- Surrounding the album release, the band performed an exclusive rooftop show in partnership with Apple and Beats1 in Los Angeles which was live streamed as part of Zane Lowe’s show on Beats 1 and was followed by an exclusiveinterview for fans on what was being described as ‘the new era.’
- The band also collaborated with Tumblr to create pop-up shops inLondon, Manchester and New York where fans were able to purchase exclusive merchandise and experience the new era engaging in photograph opportunities and meeting the band.
Application to the 4P’s:
The 4 P’s is a marketing term coined by E. Jerome McCarthy structuring the previous Marketing Mix theory into 4 main elements; product, place, price, and promotion. It is thought that this structure can be applied to any business’ marketing campaign to which such features of the campaign can be classified into these 4 P’s.
The primary product being promoted through the marketing campaign was the bands new album ‘I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It.’ We since know that such marketing was successful as the product debuted at number 1- making it their second – in the UK and their first on the Billboard Top 200 in the US.
However, the secondary product being promoted through such an extensive campaign is the band themselves as a brand and artist. Elements of the campaign such as the elusiveness of the social media blackout and the ambiguous relaunch of the band and their new era, caused frenzy across numerous social media allowing the band to grab the attention of not only fans but a tertiary market who may not have previously heard of or engaged with the band.
Price in terms of the 4 P’s regards business’ establishing a selling price for a product that can work in conjunction with the cost price per unit to ensure a positive contribution and maximise profit margins. Linking this to the marketing campaign, The 1975 launched the album at $11.99 on Itunes with a combined sales figure of over 58,000 for it to debut at number 1 on the UK album chart. Revenue may have also been made through the pop-up shops which were a collaboration with Tumblr thus partially funded, reducing cost price. Similarly, the collaboration with Apple and Beats1 for the rooftop show will have been partially funded by the two brands, once again reducing the cost price of the promotional strategy.
For a marketing strategy to be successful it is often argued that it needs to be the right product, at the right time in the right place, thus making place a very crucial element of the marketing mix. This specific marketing campaign was primarily targeted at the UK and USA, evidenced through the location of the pop-up shops, exclusiveshows and penultimate chart placement in these countries. However, through the use
of social media and email activity the campaign was accessible all over the globe enabling the band to still chart in the top 10 in countries such as Ireland (3), Norway (9) and Austria (10). Also, the pop-up shops which have a physical address and location may have also played a large factor in engaging a tertiary market as the spontaneity as well as the popularity of the events will have created hysteria in the local area. For example, the London pop-up shop was strategically located in busy Camden Market. This area has high footfall enabling passers-by to see the queues of fans for the shop, possibly see the shop itself and engage with the who the band is and what they are doing; promoting the album. This idea will have been replicated in the other two locations which also gathered local media attention further promoting the band and the album.Promotion:
Throughout the whole campaign, the marketers used a wide variety of promotional methods maximising the number that accessed the campaign. For example, the main method of promotion at the beginning of the campaign was the use (or lack of) of social media. This method reached the band’s followers (which currently stands at 1.8mil on twitter) and through creating “fandom frenzy” was also able to reach a larger audience through trending on such sites. Another method of promotion used was exclusively sending information to the 200k strong mailing list. This is effective as such information doesn’t remain exclusive as it is then released by fans onto social media and discussed (once again causing more hysteria and another trending topic). However, such exclusivity also creates an illusion to fans that they are special, building a stronger relationship between band and fan and thus increasing the chance of fans further engaging with the product (the album) and buying it.
Application to SAVE:
Under the Harvard Business Review (HBR) study, Solution is the replacement for Product – to which they call outdated. They believe that the product itself and its features no longer matter, instead, we should focus on how well it solves the consumers’ problems.
Linking this to The 1975’s marketing campaign, while the album itself (the main product) effectively combatted the fans problem of a lack of music since the previous album released in 2013, the entire campaign formed another solution as it created excitement and hysteria about the band to solve the boredom and disinterest which may have arose within the fandom during the lack of activity.
HBR also replaced the previously termed ‘place’ with access. This is because business’ no longer operate only in a physical format where the base location or premises of the business is crucial, they must also have an online presence and make connections between the two.
In music marketing campaigns (such as The 1975’s) access is particularly relevant as communication between the artist and fan is almost always predominantly online, e.g. through social media, emails, interviews, videos or the purchasing of music, merchandise and tickets. Therefore, the campaign must adhere to this relationship and be able to access all those who engage with the band in such form stated above. For example, if the band was only to do album signings around the UK in 5 major cities to promote, only a handful of their full fanbase will be able to access the campaign and therefore it is relatively ineffective. If they were to combine such efforts with exclusive live streamed shows and interviews where fans from around the globe could also watch and send in questions through social media, this is more accessible and therefore more effective.
Value is the HBR replacement for Price as studies show that the perception of value to a customer is important when accepting a higher price tag. This can link to The 1975’s campaign in two ways.
Firstly, the album itself consists of 17 tracks, significantly longer than the 10-12 track album we usually receive nowadays. However, the album was still priced reasonably at $11.99 on release which most consumers would consider a ‘normal’ price. This, therefore, creates a positive value perception as you are paying the normal price for an album but receiving more for your money. Similarly, the album will have increased value to fans as there is more to enjoy and may be perceived as having more effort put into it as opposed to some artists who may gradually release a series of EP’s.
Secondly, Value can also be inputted into the campaign in regards to the pop-up shop.
The pop-up shop’s main purpose was to allow fans the opportunity to buy exclusive merch, however, (as always) with it being merchandise the price may be considered reasonably high for the product itself, e.g. a plain black T-shirt with the band logo printed was priced at £25 – see the product and price list to the right. However, because the pop-up shop was promoted as exclusive and the shop itself became an experience through the art exhibited by Samuel Burgess-Johnson and the band appearances, the product increased in value and justified the price.
Application To AIDA:
AIDA is an acronym representing the process a consumer takes when buying a product or service.
– A stands for Awareness as the consumer needs to be aware of the brand or business in order to engage.
– I stands for Interest as the business needs to generate interest around their product or service before the buyer will affiliate.
– D stands for desire as the buyer needs to not only be interested in the product/service but to want and desire it before purchasing.
– A stands for action as the final progression is the consumer buying from the business and having interaction with them.
Linking this model to the 1975’s Campaign, as AIDA represents a progression or a course of action, The 1975 followed the model very closely in order to build their market.
They began to generate awareness of the band by using the social media blackout to cause discussion and thus did so with the aim to become a trending topic.
Similarly, once they achieved the awareness (particularly from secondary markets), they generated interest by rebranding themselves and relaunching their social media to gain and hold these new followers and potential fans.
This progressed to desire through the release of the new album as it gave consumers something to want to buy and the rooftop show further encouraged them to buy the album as it gave a teaser of some of the songs.
Finally, the consumers both previous fans and new audiences had the opportunity to act by purchasing the album, streaming the music or even attending the pop-up shops and purchasing the merchandise.