Promo History Lesson: How Elvis' Manager Got His Haters to Buy Merch
Gather round, dear readers. It's time for another edition of Promo Marketing's "Great Moments in Promo History," which is totally going to be a thing now.
The topic of this second edition of our historical exploration is buttons. Not just any buttons, mind you. It's the story of how Elvis' manager and incredible-name-haver Colonel Tom Parker could cash in not just on Elvis' many adoring fans, but on his haters, too.
According to Boing Boing, Elvis merchandise in the 1950s was selling faster than a 1958 Ford Fairlane. But, just like pop artists in 2018, for every fan, there's some cross-armed contrarian who hates fun or someone who just doesn't get the hype.
Rather than letting them go and accepting that you can't please everyone, The Colonel created buttons that said things like "I Hate Elvis" and "Elvis is a Jerk."
— Today I Learned (@TodayILearnedOf) November 12, 2018
That's some next-level advertising. You have the fans in your pocket and you have everyone who hates your clients in your pocket. Cover your bases.
Fine work, Colonel. Fine work.