the marketing of ATYCLB and U2: to a newer, younger audience - U2 Feedback

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Old 03-27-2002, 01:03 PM   #1
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the marketing of ATYCLB and U2: to a newer, younger audience

this is an interesting article that has been mirrored at youtwo.net.

Quote:
March 27, 2002
From Advertising Age Magazine:

Mar 25, 2002 issue

Iovine learns U2's all about el-e-va-tion to a new demographic
Wayne Friedman

U2 HAS BEEN one band looking for elevation.

The band, around since the '80s, wanted to attract a new audience--a 12-to-18-year-old
audience-for its latest release, "All That You Can't Leave Behind" and build sales from
that demographic to make the album a hit.

Enter Jimmy lovine, chairman of Interscope Records and producer of earlier U2 albums.
Mr. lovine had one clear idea how to achieve the goal: make believe U2 was a new
band--with absolutely no history.

"It was one of the rare times that you could actually feel a marketing plan in the record
business," Mr. Iovine says.

U2 and Interscope had to do it differently--specifically, have a long-term plan-vs. the quick
hits of other musical releases. "We realized that this was an 18-month plan," says Steve
Berman, Interscope's senior executive of marketing and sales. "The key was how Jimmy
set the tone for marketing."

That tone included a number of high-profile TV performances--including halftime at last
month's Super Bowl, the National Basketball Association All-Star Game, "The Tonight
Show With Jay Leno" and "Late Show With David Letterman."

Perhaps the key was Viacom's MTV. Not only would there be videos--four different ones--
but U2 would do special appearances, such as a rooftop concert, a la the Beatles, during
MTV's "Total Request Live."

Mr. lovine "had a lot do with the band trying to shed their credibility fears," says Paul
Kremen, head of brand marketing for Interscope. "It harder to take a band that's been
around as long as U2 and make them relevant to 12-to-18-year-olds."

To target teens further, U2 also got involved with another Viacom unit, Paramount Pictures,
by including the band's third single, "Elevation," in the soundtrack of the summer 2001
movie "Tomb Raider."

All efforts helped U2 sell a sizable 4 million records in the U.S. and 11 million worldwide.
The band released four singles with the new album-"Beautiful Day," "Elevation," "Stuck in
a Moment You Can't Get Out" and "Walk On." Last month it won four Grammys as well.
hmmm, nothing ground breaking really. i think the intent of all the TV appearances was pretty cool and more or less what is stated above. it is never the less interesting to see them talk about 'selling' U2 to a younger audience, especially as a band without a history. though it doesn't really elaborate on this too much i am wondering what peoples opinions are of this practice?
we all admire about the ability of the band to remain relevant, but is it practices like this that we are fans of? in my opinion things like this are, sadly, neccessary given the competition of the market and the attention span the target market is likely to give an 'aging' band.

the important thing to remember is such actions don't neccessarily contravene the ideals of U2, though in my opinion, they do walk the thin line that they talked about in popmart. it may be that the band had no choice however.

opinions?

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Old 03-27-2002, 07:19 PM   #2
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I guess it is all in how you look at it, or perception. Before the record came out when they were doing all of the pre-promotions, Bono said that they felt like a "brand new band", and they said that at the beginning of the tour. I guess it worked too. I feel that this explains them heading into the studio now vs. touring, get another record out there while they are still HOT HOT HOT since todays "fans" in the demographic that buys most of the records can't remember what/who happened last week. I think U2 knows that we understand too, we're getting great music/tours to go along with the marketing!!

[This message has been edited by z edge (edited 03-27-2002).]
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Old 03-27-2002, 11:14 PM   #3
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First, I don't see any new marketing strategy here, especially to people between 12-18 years of age. U2 has done plenty of TV promotions in the past. I currently keep on getting many of these from the early 80s on video tape. The whole TV and MTV thing is obviously nothing new for the band. The Superbowl and Grammy's were things that happened to the band that were out of their control and cannot be considered part of any marketing strategy. 12-18 years don't vote on the Grammy's and that demographic watches the American Music awards heavily over the Grammy's. U2 did not perform at the American Music awards.
More importantly, most of U2s airplay in the USA came from Adult top 40 this time around rather than Modern Rock or regular top 40. What has sold this album in the states are old fans from 1987-1993 jumped off the bandwagon after Achtung. There is a massive U2 fanbase in the USA from ages 25-40 and that is where the majority of U2s album sales have come from for ATYCLB. Winning back these old fans who made the band so incredibly huge from 1987 to 1993 has been the real key to success this time in the USA. Certainly if you can get the 12-18 year olds to buy your product thats great, but I do not see the major effort in that direction and nor has a large number of them bought the album. I'd say less than 10% of sales of the album came from that demographic.
To sum up the band has basically marketed themselves as they always have and while they have certainly drawn in some new young fans, capturing the old fan base has been the key to this albums success. Same goes for the concerts as well. I did not see a special ticket price for the 12-15 years of age.
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Old 03-29-2002, 01:25 PM   #4
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I'm not gonna pretend it didn't piss me off when they were on TRL, 'cos it really did. What 25 year old group does that? (I s'pose what 25 yr old group CAN play on TRL is the appropriate question) I think it was obvious they were trying to do it though. But Bono has said a thousand times over that age doesn't mean anything, which I will agree with him 150% on.

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Old 03-29-2002, 10:53 PM   #5
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But what does one do to market themselves to teens. TRL did not exist before 1998. Marketing mainly involves getting your song played on as many radio stations as possible, video play, and play concerts. U2 has always done this and continue to do this.
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Old 03-29-2002, 11:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by ocu2fan:
Why is it such a crime to try and reach young kids with good, high-quality music that will lift their souls and make them think. I really see no problem with trying to market U2 in a way that would make them more attractive to youngsters.
i don't think that anyone neccessarily implied that there was anything wrong with it. but as a forum for music, TRL is suspect as it has been the launching grounds for 'made' bands such as limp bizkit.

one of the things i wonder that someone else has mentioned is bono stating how the band 'feels like a fresh new band' or something to that effect. this would seem analogous to the band without a history image. i often wonder if U2 is feeding the marketing department or the marketing department is feeding U2.


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Old 03-30-2002, 02:39 AM   #7
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Why is it such a crime to try and reach young kids with good, high-quality music that will lift their souls and make them think. I really see no problem with trying to market U2 in a way that would make them more attractive to youngsters.
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Old 03-30-2002, 01:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by kobayashi:
1. TRL is suspect as it has been the launching grounds for 'made' bands such as limp bizkit.

2. i often wonder if U2 is feeding the marketing department or the marketing department is feeding U2.


1. Hmmm....TRL has gone steadily downhill in their quality since U2 performed, that's the only reason why i t made me angry, 'cos it was like U2 stooped to play on there to people who would traditionally listen to Britney and *NSYNC.

2. I think it's probably a back and forth thing. U2 saying 'Here's what we're going for this time around." and the marketing dept saying, 'OK, here's what we came up with, and we STRONGLY suggest these ones.'. Or something like that.

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Old 03-31-2002, 12:23 AM   #9
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A band without history? Is this PR firm was as good as they claim to be, why did they allow U2 to perform "Where the Streets Have No Name" during their two most watched performance of the last year? If they are really trying to forget about U2's past, why wouldn't they strap this old song? Are they trying to appeal to both generations? Yes. But this doesn't fit into the strategy listed in the article. I wonder...
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Old 05-04-2002, 11:24 AM   #10
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"Rooftop performance a la the Beatles..." Couldn't you, in effect say, a la U2 (Streets video)? That's a good way to erase history, to pretend it's never been done before, to a group of teeny boppers who weren't even BORN when it was done before!

"They want you to be Jesus/They'll go down on one knee/But they'll want their money back/If you're alive at thirty-three."

Has anyone else noticed that whenever you walk into a store lately, a U2 song is playing? I work for the Gap, and almost every month we have a U2 song on our Muzak soundtrack. GapKids June 2001 included "Summer Rain;" Holiday 2001 played in both Gap and GapKids included "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" and "Walk On." Gap April had "Pride (In the Name of Love)," and for May we have "In a Little While." Banana Republic's April soundtrack had "Wild Honey." This is a great marketing strategy for both ends- the Gap and U2 are both trying to win back comsumers. If U2 is trying to win over the 12 to 18-year-olds the Gap has been selling to and the Gap wants to win back the 25-40-year-olds U2 has been playing to, both win when these demographic groups walk into the store!
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Old 05-04-2002, 03:40 PM   #11
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Ummm, well the Streets video was not done to appeal to teeny boppers. I'm not sure if you were watching MTV in 1987, but U2 was the alternative to Teen Pop and Glam Rock. Most people in the video are hardcore U2 fans who decided to go downtown to see the band. The video was filmed one week after the release of Joshua Tree in March 1987, and it was before the massive popularity the band would recieve during that year.

Most of the fans you see in the video are long time fans who are in their 20s. Most probably already have seen the band on their multiple stops in the LA area in 1985 for the Unforgettable Fire tour or even before that. Teens and young teens who did not even own a single album by U2 would not rush downtown to see a band that up to that point had had only one top 40 single on American radio. Most would probably say U-who? When the Joshua Tree was first released, in the USA, the band was still considered to be underground because they had not broken into top 40 radio.
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Old 05-05-2002, 12:26 AM   #12
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Oops, I guess I wasn't clear. I sure was watching MTV in 1987 (and I wish it played as many vidoes now as then!). I never thought that Streets was originally for teenyboppers. I meant that the teenyboppers who now watch TRL weren't even born when U2 first set up on a rooftop, which makes it easy to pretend that this band, pushing a quarter of a century of international popularity, has no history. As far as Carson Daley's harem of junior high kids know, the Streets video never happened.
(I thought that was what I said originally! Sorry for any confusion!!!)
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