When no marketing is the marketing strategy

You may not have heard of it and that’s exactly the point.  Beyonce released another chart topper fifth studio album a week ago and nobody knew about it.

 Zero marketing

With zero promotional build up, this bold move from the label is all about “taking the album straight to the people” said her publicist.  I’m not really sure what that means but this anti-hype approach seems to be working and is a business move.

Midnight Thursday, Beyonce writes “Surprise” on twitter to her 8 million followers and magically 14 songs in 17 videos appear as a full visual album on itunes. 1 million full album downloads later (because you can only buy the full album of course…no singles) and this guerrilla release style is to date more successful than her last album.

It’s an interesting reflection on globalisation and how social media allows mass marketing to be done via retweets and reposts around the world. Let me know your thoughts on why it worked.



  • Danual Blackwell  

    “the irony of priding ourselves in the endless pursuit of progress, when often that progress takes us back into the dark ages…”

    • john  

      The power of marketing doesn’t lie in the new innovative platforms that continue to be developed. It lies in the understanding of the human psyche.

  • Michal  

    I think this worked because it was Beyonce – if you took an unnamed artist and pulled off a stunt like this it just wouldn’t worked. She has a huge following, and every move she does will be heard about no matter how quiet it is.
    Apart from her “tell no one about the album” tactic, she did do advertisements for it – remember the Wall Mart stunt a few days after the release where Beyonce comes in and gives every shopper 50 bucks towards their purchase – that was staged as f$3k. The idea of her buying her album, and at the end of the vid, the nice shot of the album cover art.
    It was a commercial, but not intended to be shown during commercial breaks.

    • john  

      Great point Michal and it’s a sign of the times really – the ability to globally communicate instantly at low cost allows artists like Beyonce to seem a little more authentic then they are, and to save some dollars at the same time (and labels are all looking to save dollars with the industry in the state that it’s in). I don’t know if you’ve seen the making of videos but they do make it sound like all this was her idea – It’s genius really to pitch it like that. I hadn’t heard of the Walmart stunt but no doubt there was nothing organic or “let’s see how it goes” about this marketing campaign. Fun fact – she outsold her last album total sales in 1 month – So no marketing (or different marketing may be the best way to put it) was the best direction it seems.


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