December 18th, 2013 By Caspar Mason
That beautiful twinkling flash is what happens on Twitter when Beyoncé drops an album on iTunes with no promotion, no interviews, no fanfare, no nothing. See the full visualisation here. She’s not the first to have done something like this – The XX leaked their Co-Exist album to one lucky fan and created a data visualisation as it spread across their global fan community – but this is far bolder and simpler.
It’s the antithesis of the award-winning experiential campaigns, handset-linked album launches and pop-up screenings done by the likes of..well, her husband.
We have a mantra at Jack: Be Brave. And Beyoncé has certainly been brave here…but definitely brave rather than foolhardy, as she took the clever precaution of becoming a global superstar and selling 65m+ records before attempting this. It’s relationship marketing turned up to 11.
It’s set the world ablaze, but is it the start of something new or a moment in time? A new paradigm or the exception that proves the rule? Because this only works when everyone else is doing the opposite, and loses its power the moment others start doing it (if it hasn’t already, just by being done). It feels like – when it comes to finding new ways of surprising, delighting and generating conversations – it’s still about what you add, not take away.