Okay, so this article is about a year old, so I’ve no idea if it’s been discussed by people on tumblr yet, but I stumbled across it today, and there are some very interesting things in here.
This is essentially a repetition of a lot of the things I’ve been saying so far on this blog, but here’s actual confirmation that these strategies were used in the branding of One Direction. The article is an interview with Mark Handy, who was the marketing director at Syco Music when One Direction started out, and he was essentially the person responsible for their branding and the marketing of the band as a consumer product.
To people who think they’re incompetent or unaware of what goes on, think again. As I’ve said multiple times and will continue to say, they know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to social media.
"He pitched a “two pronged attack” to Simon Cowell: they weren’t going down the traditional radio route, but would approach fashion labels. The director of their first video would be John Urbano, best known for his work on ads such as Abercrombie and Fitch. They were going to be pushed massively on social media platforms. That last point was so important, Mark actually got the boys in a room and “physically taught them how to use Twitter”. They workshopped various ad campaigns, looking at Red Bull and Nike (to name a few) before, together, coming up with the One Direction brand. Now they have cracked America, sold 12 million records last year alone and their Twitter account has a following of over 10 million."
Let’s take a closer look at that.
They weren’t going down the traditional radio route, but would approach fashion labels.
This is a branch of publicity that I’m personally very familiar with, and I’ve noticed in the course of looking into this band that they do seem to focus on fashion and market themselves as if they’re marketing fashion rather than music. The “caught in the wild” style set-up publicity shots, the endless sponsorships, the John Urbano directed music video, the focus on products rather than music. This is all intentional.
That last point was so important, Mark actually got the boys in a room and “physically taught them how to use Twitter”.
This ^^^ is part of what I mean when I say media training.
They workshopped various ad campaigns, looking at Red Bull and Nike (to name a few) before, together, coming up with the One Direction brand.
Also part of what I mean when I say “media training”. Workshopping an ad campaign essentially means you sit down and tear it apart to see all the things that make it tick. What’s making this product sell? Why are people buying it? Why is this advert successful as opposed to the other options they could have used? Don’t ever doubt that they planned this band out as a product and are selling it as such. That’s exactly what One Direction is.
“Mark did everything from monitoring Twitter, to researching brands, to studying the clothes, and interests of the girls hanging around the X Factor studios. But how do you monitor the trends aside from staring at the people you’re marketing the product/idea/band at? ‘Use the internet,’ he says simply. ‘All the big online brands and portals have now got Google analytics and Facebook analytics, and all of those resources are perfect for understanding what’s happening.’
Keep track of Twitter trends, go on forums that your target market are interested in, chat to them, ask them questions. The more you know them, the better everything will be: targeting teenage girls? Use Twitter and up the fashion ante.”
A repetition of everything I’ve been saying since I started this blog. They aren’t targeting adults who are interested in music. They’re targeting teenage girls who are interested in fashion by playing directly into that by monitoring and responding to fans on social media.
”’This was a music project, but I based it on the fashion industry. Take your inspiration from other areas,’ he says, ‘look at, say, the magazine business going digital. To do that they have to keep looking at what other non-editorial brands are doing. You have to be flexible and willing to adapt what you’re doing as the times change – maybe there’s a gap in the market for what you’re doing now, but what about competitors? What about new social media platforms?' As Mark so nicely puts it: 'The only constant is change.’”
Where We Are Tour - Intro
I can hear his laugh through my computer screen
when your crush passes by right next to you
@harrystyles: Wake up call. I nominate Irving Azoff, Kanye West and Susan Sarandon…. And Ben Winston.
4/5 of One Direction do the ice bucket challenge. Donate here.
girls dont want you to be nice to them because they’re girls they want you to be nice to them because they’re human beings and you should be nice to everyone wtf is wrong with you