Marketing 50

Coldplay

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The band hadn't toured in two years and hadn't released a record in three, so Capitol Records marketing executive Sharon Lord needed to make Coldplay ubiquitous to American consumers for the summer launch of the new CD "X&Y."

"We had to be really smart in what we used them for because we wanted to make it appear like they were everywhere," says Ms. Lord, 38, VP-marketing at Capitol. She went first to the influencers, creating listening rooms in a few key markets for music critics, retailers, radio DJs and music supervisors for films and TV.

The band kicked off a mini-tour of small venues, appearing at such seminal shows as the Coachella Valley Music Festival. The digital programs were another heartbeat of the campaign. Coldplay was the first band featured on a new program from Cingular Wireless called Cingular Sounds, in which the marketer offers exclusive 30-second ringtones of artists' new material. In addition to retail promotions, where Capitol supplied exclusive tracks to various big box stores, Starbucks played a major role in the record launch by stocking 200,000 copies in 5,000 locations.

Ms. Lord worked both ends of the marketing spectrum-street teams did the grassroots work at movie theaters and clubs, and the band played NBC's "Saturday Night Live" shortly before the record launch. Ubiquity achieved. About a month after its release, "X&Y" was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. It launched as the No. 1 record in the U.S. and the U.K., and it remained in the best-selling 30 on Billboard's Top 100 chart for months after its debut. The record has boosted the band's tour, and vice versa, with Coldplay likely to break into Billboard's top 25 tours of the year for the first time.

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