The album title of the sophomore album of Manchester band, The 1975, is a mouthful and even somewhat difficult to remember. “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It” was released in February of this past year with much hype and anticipation. In the past their market overwhelmingly consisted of teenage girls clad in all black, emulating the band’s black and white image. With the release of their sophomore album, this market shifted and grew drastically in majority due to the band’s social media efforts.
The band’s social media campaign for the album began on June 1, 2015, a date somewhat relevant to the band, with the deletion of all of the band’s social media essentially erasing their digital presence. This simple act sparked many breakup rumors surrounding the band. The deletion of social media came after an ominous post on twitter by the band’s manager, Jamie Oborne.
These two acts already began to increase talk about the band, beginning to reach a different audience who may not have previously known who they were. Now this isn’t saying deleting social media and posting cryptic messages should be the go-to social media campaign, it’s more pointing out that the band did something they knew would garner attention and begin conversation, which is always a goal in the public relations field. Once all social media had been restored there was a very clear change in their entire social media presence. Quite literally there is a visible line you can see on the band’s Instagram posts where they transition from their black and white image to their new image, pink.
The lesson that can be learned from this is make your image consistent and clear. From this point forwards almost every post from the band’s Instagram account is somehow themed around the color pink. Even if you are not familiar with the band their brand is made very clear through consistent posting throughout their social media, proving that consistency is key. During the period between the deletion and consequent recreation of all of the band’s social media and the release of the album on all social media platforms all posts consisted of the color pink along with a few more cryptic posts to keep the fans thinking and talking about the band. In small pieces, the band released the title of the album along with track titles over that span of time. Doing this stretched out the talk surrounding the band allowing them to reach new audiences who may not have heard of them or had heard of the band but never felt a need to further learn about the band.
Probably one of the most important things the band did to solidify their standing along fans, old and new, was to host what they called pop up shops. These pop up shops consisted of art inspired by the second album, including multiple neon signs that were previously only seen in pictures, and a place to buy the band’s new merchandise in person before the live shows began. This biggest aspect of this was the band was present for the entire thing. There was no cost of entry for the fans and they were allowed to talk freely with the members of the band. Fans lined up at very early hours of the morning and by the time the pop up shops open the wait to get in was hours. Traditionally in order to meet a band they must be relatively small, the fan must win a contest, or the artist will sell meet and greet tickets. These pop up shops allowed fans unrestricted access to the band with not cost generating more positive feelings for the band. These fans received an opportunity that many other people don’t in a very non-traditional way again increasing talk surrounding the band along with these positive feelings. Unique and non-traditional methods are always a great way to get people talking about your brand. If you do something that has never been done before then consumers are much more likely to pay attention what you’re doing and in turn talk about it and generate their own opinions.
Beyond social media, the band purchased signage for their shows all across the world. The most notable being a large billboard on the road leading to Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA where the band performed this past spring. While this technically isn’t considered public relations because the space was purchased it still gets the message across.
Even now, almost exactly a year since the band began their social media campaign for their sophomore album, the message is still being pushed in a consistent manner. While the album has been released and the initial shock has subsided there is still talk surrounding the band which by my definition I would consider a successful social media campaign. Even if what your product is or the message you are trying to get across has absolutely nothing to do with music, there are still many key points that can be taken away from the release of an album.