Marketing and promotion are essential parts in building awareness of a product for any business. This is especially reflected in recording company’s investments in its artists. The major recording companies typically invest between $200,000-$700,000 annually per artist into promoting their music, their largest single investment. This investment is mainly focused on digital platforms as it allows companies to better target niche markets. These platforms are dominated heavily by streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Soundcloud. Although many other platforms in the music industry have experienced a recent decline in investments and usage for advertising, such as TV and radio, they are not yet obsolete and still make up a significant portion of record company’s advertising investments.
It is seen that rather popular artists do not typically use TV commercials as a conduit to promote new music unless they are being paid to endorse/promote another product. In this case, Beyoncé’s Upgrade You commercial is the perfect example. In the commercial, Beyoncé is singing her hit song, Upgrade You, featuring famed rapper and entrepreneur, Jay-Z . It is displayed as a music video, wherein Beyoncé is singing and dancing. She continuously repeats the title of the song as the chorus and then starts speaking while still dancing, and connects the title of the song to users upgrading their TV providers to Direct TV.
This advertisement was very unique approach Beyoncé’s marketing team took to promote her music. Firstly, the video is extremely catchy and creative with its glittery, superstar feel and the idea to relate her hit song, Upgrade You, with upgrading television providers is ingenious. As mentioned earlier in the blog, TV campaigns to promote an artist’s new music are not often used because it is more difficult to directly target certain consumers as opposed to various streaming services that are keeping track of who listens to what music. At the same time, TV and radio as well has the disadvantage of limited viewer attention as advertisers are less certain groups of people are being exposed to their ad. For this reason, it was in the marketing teams best interest to maximize who the advertisement would be exposed to. They did this by choosing Direct TV to do the promotion. Direct TV is a product that is used by everyone, rather than a product that has a segmented market such as make-up, which would predominantly be made up of females. There are approximately 114.7 million TV households and the marketing team maximized the coverage of this group by using a product that appeals to broad audiences as a partner in promotion.
Beyoncé not only was payed to endorse Direct TV, but had the opportunity to further promote her own music generating morerevenue. Mutually, Direct TV benefited and had a superstar promoting their services. This was an opportunity for bothsides to largely profit, and it was executed successfully as a prime example for promoting music through television.
Link to Commercial: