Music Marketing Campaigns, 5 examples from the last 20 years

Written by Benjamin Davis

Articles > Music Marketing > Music Marketing Campaigns, 5 examples from the last 20 years

With so many people releasing music each day there is more need than ever to compliment your music with a strong brand and a marketing campaign that will get your name and your music out there to the masses.

What is music marketing?

Music marketing is the use of advertising to connect musicians with their fan base while also informing new audiences about them and their latest work.

5 Examples of music marketing:

The world of music marketing changes quickly but over the years there have been some genius out-of-the-box campaigns that have shocked fans and left an impressive lasting impression. We’ve taken a look at some of the best over the last 20 years.

Nine Inch Nails – ‘Year Zero’

Nine Inch Nails was one of the most popular alt bands of the 90s. In early 2007 people started noticing that certain letters on the band shirts were highlighted. It turned out that when combined these letters lead to a dystopian-themed website that described a scenario in which the US has been shaken by terrorists and the government had taken complete control.

This ‘game’ continued when USBs containing secret songs containing hidden images and messages within the audio files were found at various concerts. These secret messages and clues from the band lead to fans discovering websites with hidden audio of supposedly leaked phone conversations which urged the public to ‘fight back against the government’.

The game ended with a small group of fans receiving messages that invited them to a secret meeting where fans were given mobile phones. Days later, they received a call inviting them to what turned out to be a secret Nine Inch Nails show. This show only lasted a few songs before it ended with a fake SWAT team storming the concert and rushing the audience out of the building.

Frank Ocean – ‘Blonde’

Frank Ocean released his debut record in 2012 and quickly grew a following of devoted fans who were looking forward to seeing what else was to come. Unfortunately, it would be another 4 years until Frank Oceans' next release.

In July 2016 Frank Ocean began releasing clues about an upcoming release. The record seemed to be titled ‘Boys Don’t Cry’. A month later, a video was shared which showed Ocean playing instruments. This video ended up being a trailer for an album called Endless that was released on August 19th.

Frank Ocean’s fans were confused and didn’t believe this was the album that Ocean had been releasing clues about a month before. However, they didn’t have to wait long as on 20th August, Ocean surprised fans with the record Blonde.

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Radiohead – ‘In Rainbows’

Radiohead pioneered the pay-as-you-want movement with their album ‘In Rainbows’. Surprisingly this venture proved very fruitful for the band. Thom Yorke said that in two months after the album’s release that they made more money from the digital sales of ‘In Rainbows’ than the digital sales of all other Radiohead albums combined.

Aphex Twin – ‘Syro’

In 2014 Aphex Twin launched a blimp over London with the Aphex Twin logo and the text ‘2014’ printed on it. Days later the logo started to make its appearance in New York.

Soon after, his Twitter account published a link which was only accessible on the ‘deep web’. This link contained album information such as the title and track listing. Fans were confused and thought that these track titles were coded messages.

However, when the album was released, fans were met with the information that the album did include titles like ‘4 bit 9d api+e+6’ and ‘fz pseudotimestretch+e+3’.

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Death Grips – ‘The Powers That B’

Death Grips are well known for being a band that messes with people. Following critical acclaim for their debut album ‘The Money Store’, the group ended up breaching their record contract by releasing ‘No Love Deep Web’ for free online, using a picture of drummer Zach Hill’s penis as the album cover.

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