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Old 03-27-2002, 02:22 PM   #1
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ATYCLB Marketed to Teens...

Quote:
[b] http://www.adage.com/
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.
[b]
I'm not surprised by this article b/c reaching out to the youth is a pretty important part in terms reaching for long term relevance IMO as well as selling albums.

What do people think about this article? Has this album left an impression on the youth of America. I dunno. I sort of think that U2 hasn't hooked the teens like hip hop, Moby, Linkin Park, etc.

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Old 03-27-2002, 02:43 PM   #2
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i'm curious- was this article written in hindsight? b/c any of us could write this with just throwing in some quotes from Iovine since many of us figured out U2's reasonings behind all their tv appearances, etc..

or was the article spurred by a direct interview with Iovine? In which case .. I guess he's just confirming what we previously speculated on!

interesting!

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Old 03-27-2002, 04:12 PM   #3
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I don't know how well they've reached teens, but I do know that I was feelin' mighty old there in the heart at recent concerts Most people around me appeared to be in their late teens or early 20s.

I think it's usually college age when folks discover U2. I think their music has always been a little sophisticated for very young teens.

Paul McGuiness mentioned something similar in an article in the Financial Times last September saying they always strive to reach a new and younger audience with each record.
It's not that us "old folks" aren't important, it's just that younger people tend to buy more music.
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Old 03-27-2002, 04:26 PM   #4
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Nevermind..


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"You must not look down on someone just 'cos they are 14 years old. When I was that age I listened to the music of John Lennon and it changed my way of seeing things, so I'm just glad that 14 year olds are coming to see U2 rather than group X." - Bono, 1988


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Old 03-28-2002, 12:09 AM   #5
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They reached me.

<---17 years old

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Old 03-28-2002, 12:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by u2utah:
I don't know how well they've reached teens, but I do know that I was feelin' mighty old there in the heart at recent concerts Most people around me appeared to be in their late teens or early 20s.

I think it's usually college age when folks discover U2. I think their music has always been a little sophisticated for very young teens.

Paul McGuiness mentioned something similar in an article in the Financial Times last September saying they always strive to reach a new and younger audience with each record.
It's not that us "old folks" aren't important, it's just that younger people tend to buy more music.
I am so glad that someone started this thread!

By the way, how old are you Utah?(if you dont mind me asking)


I am 24 and I was delighted to see MANY young people at both U2 shows @ MSG in June and in October. The older U2 fans are great. They are the most loyal U2 fans(I know that is a very general statement, but it is usually accurate).

The fact that U2 seem to be able to transcend all ages just adds to their aura and brilliance! The main reason why U2 is still relevant and great 22+ years since they first came on the scene(besides the great music) is the fact that their music is passed down from each generation. My 28 year old brother passed U2 down to me and now it is time to pass it down to others(as we hold onto it as well).

I don't wanna sound old, but I(and many of my friends agree) feel that the majority of the music that is out there today and the stuff that teen "rock" fans seem to listen to is redundant crap.

Some examples of this are: Linkin Park, Kid Rock and Papa Roach(sorry if anyone likes these bands). I think that the angst that many of these and other acts is contrived and just put out to sell records.

I am sure that people older than I were saying the same stuff about grunge(another fictional name made up by the media, IMO) when I was in High School from 91-95. The truth is, I will listen to almost anything that is old or new(Beatles to U2 to White Stripe) as long as it is original, quality and creative. Of course, art is opinionated, but really, I think an astute person with some serious musical taste can differ between contrived, unoriginal nonsense and good, unrepetitive music.

Another thing that irks me is this stereotype that once you have reached your late 30's or early 40's you are done in the music biz. I say bullshit!!! In fact, I think Bono nailed it when he said that most artists are just coming into their own during their 40's. Even if the touring aspect of a music career may take a hit with older age, the writing can still be good(ie Dylan). ---the osbournes are great---sorry...

Anyway, I constantly argue with a stubborn friend of mine who has good taste in music(Pearl Jam, U2, REM, classics, etc...) He thinks that those bands should not go on MTV and other mainstream outlets b/c todays teens just wont appreciate it. I say that if bands like REM and PJ wouldve gotten off their butts a few years back, maybe todays music wouldnt be so shitty in the first place b/c they wouldve had better choices and the shit that is out today may never have come to fruition(I love PJ and REM and respect their wishes, but I do wish they would exspose themselves just a little bit).

Bottom line: thank g-d for people like Elevatemode and Madonna's Child. The more teens that like U2 now, the more U2 will continue to thrive in the future.

Sorry to ramble, but I needed to get this off my chest....look forward to any replies....

[This message has been edited by MBH (edited 03-27-2002).]

[This message has been edited by MBH (edited 03-27-2002).]

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Old 03-28-2002, 12:57 AM   #7
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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 03-28-2002, 01:42 AM   #8
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I do think the majority of their sales are coming from old fans or fans who jumped off the boat after Zooropa and such which would be a shame. I've met a few teens who like U2 but the majority are rather indifferent or dislike them. Maybe they should have young vixens in their videos alah Aerosmith... that cetainly helped Aerosmith a lot. Hehe.

It sort of makes me wonder though about how the next album will be received. Especially if they decide to go the old U2 experimental way? Will all the old fans who jumped back on the bandwagon jump off again?

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Old 03-28-2002, 01:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2:
First, I don't see any new marketing strategy here, especially to people between 12-18 years of age.
I agree
if it needs a new strategy for U2 to reach teens then how comes almost all of us fell in love with U2 when we were teens?


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Old 03-28-2002, 03:51 AM   #10
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haha I first took notice of U2 when I was 12. I didn't become a full fledged fan until I was 14, around the time Achtung Baby came out. But it wasn't the marketing that got me hooked, it was their sound.

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Old 03-28-2002, 05:19 AM   #11
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I'm really confused sometimes about the way U2 fans use the word "experimental". I get the impression that when some people say that they want U2 to be experimental again they specifically mean the return to the sound of their 90s albums and their flirtations with dance & electronic sounds. Which kinda puzzles me because doesn't "being experimental" means exploring the sounds you haven't explored before?
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Old 03-28-2002, 08:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Saracene:
I'm really confused sometimes about the way U2 fans use the word "experimental". I get the impression that when some people say that they want U2 to be experimental again they specifically mean the return to the sound of their 90s albums and their flirtations with dance & electronic sounds. Which kinda puzzles me because doesn't "being experimental" means exploring the sounds you haven't explored before?
Excellent point! I think those people are now 'stuck in the 90s' LMAO!!!

Oh, and I was 10 when U2 reached me in 1987. It's very unfair to say that someone has to be 'college age' to be 'sophisticated' enough to like U2. I have seen very intelligent and sophistcated teens on this list who appreciate U2 (Madonna's Child, Elevatedmole, Mona, Unforgettable Lemon, and more) while I know too many 'college agers' who don't like U2 and are jamming to Kid Rock, Disturbed, Godsmack and Papa Roach. It's not the age, it's the PERSON as an individual.


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Old 03-28-2002, 08:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Saracene:
I'm really confused sometimes about the way U2 fans use the word "experimental". I get the impression that when some people say that they want U2 to be experimental again they specifically mean the return to the sound of their 90s albums and their flirtations with dance & electronic sounds. Which kinda puzzles me because doesn't "being experimental" means exploring the sounds you haven't explored before?
I wouldn't necessarily call ATYCLB a record that experiments with their sound the way The Unforgettable Fire or Achtung. I was thinking experimental as in different sounds from the last record or from the sound that they're known for. ATYCLB was not that kind of departure. The only real experiment in ATYCLB that seemed to be there (somewhat) was the songcraft... alah writing a song and performing it/developing it as a band rather then going piecemeal with different parts and forming a song...

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Old 03-28-2002, 11:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Flying FuManchu:
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" .

Well, if this is their intention, it hasn't worked, because I'm a teenager, and not one of the people I know my age like U2. Most of them still see them as some 80s dinosaur band. Shame really.



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Old 03-28-2002, 11:08 AM   #15
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Originally posted by NShaik:
Well, if this is their intention, it hasn't worked, because I'm a teenager, and not one of the people I know my age like U2. Most of them still see them as some 80s dinosaur band. Shame really.

You are very correct. Most of the teenagers I know will never accept them just because of their age alone. It is a shame, at least you know better.

 
Old 03-28-2002, 12:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by MBH:
I am so glad that someone started this thread!

By the way, how old are you Utah?(if you dont mind me asking)
I'll be 38 in a week. From later posts I think perhaps I wasn't as clear as I could have been in my post. I hope young or old fans don't think I was discounting them as fans. I just think it's great that U2 has been able to bring in new fans with each record. (Whatever their ages.) I know a number of people in their mid 20s who discovered them during Pop. My friend's 11 year old daughter loves "Beautiful Day". It's great.

It does seem to me that a majority of people seem to discover how great U2 are in college
However, when I said their music is a bit sophisticated for a lot of very young teens I meant that at 12 or 13 years kids tend to like simpler music (rhymically, melodically, lyrically etc) and that's normal developmentally. Of course that's a generalizaion and doesn't apply to all pre-teens or early teens. Young teens are as diverse as any other age group. elevatedmole has that wonderful Bono quote about not dicounting 14 year olds and I agree with that. (At any rate, Interferencers are obviously more advanced than the general population )

Back to the original article, I agree with STING2 in that it wasn't necessarily a brand new strategy because they have always tried to reach out to a new audience with each record. I do, however, think there was a stronger, more calculated, push to reach out the the "MTV generation" because it is harder to reach that demographic if you're perceived as an "old band". Bono has talked about doing that numerous times since ATYCLB came out.

Older fans shouldn't feel bad that they weren't the subject of a marketing push. It simply wasn't necessary.

Obviously they aren't marketing to "loyal fans" because they don't need to. Those fans were at the record store on Oct 31 marketing or no

Only a little marketing was needed for old fans who didn't like Pop, and that was covered by their overall marketing scheme. A couple of articles and TV shows and those fans would come back. Older folks who weren't into U2 were also covered by the the overall plan of TV appearances, tour etc.

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Old 03-28-2002, 12:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2:
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.

Why are you so cynical? I feel like you turn most discussions into an argument. U2 definitely has marketed themselves differently for ATYCLB than for POP and for stuff from the past. Nobody said that they have NEVER marketed themselves like this b4.
Appearing on TRL is marketing to teens(even Bono mentions how they wanted the younger audience to see what a great rock band is).

U2 has not ALWAYS marketed themselves like this. If they did, POP may have sold more(I dont want to re-hash that discussion that we had last week, thank you). Put those stats down for one minute and take a look around you. I have read, seen and heard stories from younger people (teens, very early 20's) showing a great interest in U2. Of course the majority is older people who have liked the band for a long time, but U2 have certainly attracted a younger audience this time around(I also get the impression that U2 has many more younger fans in other countries around the globe)....
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Old 03-28-2002, 01:43 PM   #18
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MBH: To speak on poor STING2's behalf, I don't think he means to come across as argumentative. I believe this is just his writing style. And, please correct me STING2 if I am erroneous, but I don't believe English is his first language. Hence the "tone" of his posts. However, having interacted with STING2 for a long time in other forums, I can vouch he did not mean to insult.

That said, I do disagree with STING2 here and agree with you, MDH. I do feel that U2 marketed for a younger crowd. Despite some statistics, for the most part, teenagers have the most disposable income and buy the most CDs. It's during one's teen years that you take a chance on a CD (whereas an adult, especially one in his/her 30's and beyond, is less willing to spend the $$ on something that they really may not enjoy). Plus, teens succumb to peer pressure. Get one teen interested and others will follow. Again, adults tend not to do this.

Hence why marketing to a teen crowd is crucial in the music industry. Bono is also right in that it's time teens heard some GOOD music. They've been fed bubble-gum pop and rap rock for so long, they don't know anything else. They don't know a good rock song - now they do.

For an album to have this much success, clearly the teen crowd was captured at some level. If this were a country album, then perhaps the teen market isn't as important. But for a rock (pop-rock) album, the teen market is critical. Clearly U2 succeeded in reaching that market (otherwise they would not have a soon to be 4x Platinum album in the U.S.).

Also, as I witness in this board room, U2 have clearly attracted many teens. Heck, just a few weeks back Baker6621 posted that he got his driver's license! Now that's young, especially when I've had my license for more years than Baker has been alive. LOL! But this is a good thing. The success of "Beautiful Day" was able to capture these fans - and keep them. While many critics argued that U2's tours were full of 30-somethings, I saw a LOT of teens and 20-somethings there as well. I attribute this youthful audience to U2's marketing efforts this time around.
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Old 03-28-2002, 01:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho:
MBH: To speak on poor STING2's behalf, I don't think he means to come across as argumentative. I believe this is just his writing style. And, please correct me STING2 if I am erroneous, but I don't believe English is his first language. Hence the "tone" of his posts. However, having interacted with STING2 for a long time in other forums, I can vouch he did not mean to insult.

That said, I do disagree with STING2 here and agree with you, MDH. I do feel that U2 marketed for a younger crowd. Despite some statistics, for the most part, teenagers have the most disposable income and buy the most CDs. It's during one's teen years that you take a chance on a CD (whereas an adult, especially one in his/her 30's and beyond, is less willing to spend the $$ on something that they really may not enjoy). Plus, teens succumb to peer pressure. Get one teen interested and others will follow. Again, adults tend not to do this.

Hence why marketing to a teen crowd is crucial in the music industry. Bono is also right in that it's time teens heard some GOOD music. They've been fed bubble-gum pop and rap rock for so long, they don't know anything else. They don't know a good rock song - now they do.

For an album to have this much success, clearly the teen crowd was captured at some level. If this were a country album, then perhaps the teen market isn't as important. But for a rock (pop-rock) album, the teen market is critical. Clearly U2 succeeded in reaching that market (otherwise they would not have a soon to be 4x Platinum album in the U.S.).

Also, as I witness in this board room, U2 have clearly attracted many teens. Heck, just a few weeks back Baker6621 posted that he got his driver's license! Now that's young, especially when I've had my license for more years than Baker has been alive. LOL! But this is a good thing. The success of "Beautiful Day" was able to capture these fans - and keep them. While many critics argued that U2's tours were full of 30-somethings, I saw a LOT of teens and 20-somethings there as well. I attribute this youthful audience to U2's marketing efforts this time around.
Well said, Dr.! Thanks for the info...I will now know in the future....
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Old 03-28-2002, 01:59 PM   #20
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I don't know, I mean, all my friends at least respect U2, and most of them like them as well (we're all between 20 and 22). I used to get a good ribbing for being such a huge fan when we first met, but not really anymore. I can say, however, that their awareness of U2 has grown a lot since ATYCLB. I'm not sure why, but I think overall this album was more "normal", and people picked up on it quicker. Pop was more of a grower, and those are the kinds people buy, and give up on after one listen.

My point is, I think that that yes there was more of an effort to promote this album to the younger crowd, especially by getting the songs onto radio more. No matter how much we hate it, the radio still is a very big part of our music scene. This album connected more with people who don't consider themselves music aficionados, and those casual fans constitute a large part of music consumers. These include kids, who may be more prone to buy the latest hot thing, rather than sticking with a few artists and following them. I think U2 wanted to be cool again with the crowd, not just with their hardcore fans, and they succeeded.

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