Lessons from Indie Rap
Greetings loyal readers,
Today I bring something interesting from the music world. One of my favorite musicians, P.O.S. (which I'm told stands for "Plain Ole Stefon," despite the other more obvious acronym), released his new album a few months ago with a pretty cool promotion behind it.
With his new CD, P.O.S. packaged a customizable cover where the owner can create his or her own album art. You can see a short video of the cover here, but the basic premise is the CD comes with about 16 squares and transparencies, all with different artwork on them, that can be mixed and matched to make whatever designs the user prefers.
Most marketing programs you see for music revolve around either the standard media blitz (yawn), offering more content (meaningless because of how iTunes and others allow for single-song downloads), or reduced pricing. (At $12.99 an album, tops, it's not like music is prohibitively expensive these days.) P.O.S.'s album art promotion, however, is great not only because it's idiosyncratic and fun, it also requires the buyer to purchase the entire album.
I guess my take-away lesson would be this: In an incredibly competitive market, P.O.S.'s customizable album cover makes use of perceived value and a distinct aesthetic to try and stand out above the clutter. It's also not afraid to use a delivery system that most are fleeing from, the physical CD. The specific promotion of modified album art might be useful for a few distributors, but the more important idea here is thinking of the best way to promote your clients product. Finding the weakness and failings of more conventional methods, creating something with value beyond functionality and name recognition, and utilizing as unique a voice or presentation as possible would all be ways to recreate the methodology of P.O.S.'s album promotion. I'm not saying this line of thinking is helpful or even necessary for every promotion, but it might be useful for more complicated or unusual campaigns and clients.