A typical album marketing campaign lasts only a few months before it dies down. But for The Boss, Marilyn Laverty, founder of Shore Fire Media, designed a campaign that not only helped push her client's album to No. 1, it also netted him multiple Grammy awards and buzz that's continuing even today.
Reverberations from Shore Fire's Bruce Springsteen "The Rising" album marketing are being felt eight months after the album launched. This March, The Boss notched a new concert record when he nearly sold out seven stadium shows in one day. Today, he's scheduled to play 10 shows-the longest running concert series in history. And even that was well-orchestrated. The tickets went on sale the same week Mr. Springsteen dominated the Grammy awards, winning Best Rock Album for the Sept. 11-inspired "The Rising," along with Best Male Rock Vocalist, and Best Rock Song for the album's title track, "The Rising."
The campaign, designed by Ms. Laverty, was carefully planned and executed, encompassing back-to-back "Late Show With David Letterman" appearances on CBS, a Time magazine cover, and a Rolling Stone cover, among other well-placed media interviews. Columbia Records Publicity and Jon Landau Management also promoted the album.
"The Rising" hit stores on July 30, 2002, the same day Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band performed on NBC's "Today." It wasn't the first time the public heard the music. Two weeks earlier, Sony Music released the single "Into the Fire" on AOL's First Listen music download service. A week later on July 22, Sony followed up with the single "Mary's Place." "The Rising" track was streamed more than 755,000 times in 24 hours, making it the fifth most popular AOL First Listen ever released.
The mix of media placements helped "The Rising" debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and steamroll to double platinum status. So far 1.8 million units of the album have sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "The Rising" concert tour placed as the No. 6 top-grossing tour, netting $42 million according to Pollstar.
Ms. Laverty, who began as a secretary at Columbia Records in 1977 and rose to VP-publicity by the end of her 13-year tenure, is modest when she discusses her shop's work-it also reps Norah Jones and Elvis Costello, among others. "Bruce is 1,000% real," she says. "His sense of identity and personal integrity is so amazingly strong, no one ever discusses concepts like branding or imaging in reference to him."
Still, with an ever-growing list of soldout concert dates and the album hanging out on the Billboard chart for more than 32 weeks, maybe it's time to give credit where credit is due.