With no access to the artist for promotion, this campaign targeted hardcore fans and collectors around the new David Bowie box-set release.

[Note, the information for this case study was submitted in December 2015, before David Bowie’s death. It was provided by the team behind the campaign.]


Parlophone / Rhino Records

Team members involved

Tom Gallacher – Digital Marketing Manager
Paul Fletcher – Marketing Manager
Tom Herbert – International Digital Marketing Manager
Jo Blair – International Marketing Manager
Mark Adams – social media management

Campaign breakdown

Budget: £5k – £10k
Audience demographic: 48% female / 52% male, age 35+, global

Overview of campaign

[Five Years 1969 – 1973] is the first in a series of David Bowie boxsets covering different eras of Bowie’s career. The release is high value multi-disc (12CD / 14LP) set featuring 6 original studio albums, 2 live albums plus a 2 disc set of unreleased tracks and rarities.

With no access to the artist for promotion and limited amounts of new content we sought to use the good relationship that we have with his social media manager to create a campaign that allowed us target hardcore fans and collectors while also reminding more casual fans of the brilliance of Bowie’s output throughout this period, encourage fans to explore the catalogue through streaming services.

Five Years… 10 albums, 2 months. The set spans era when he went from little known artist to extravagant global superstar – a meteoric rise and incredible story to tell – so we worked with Bowie’s social media manager to tell this story across a period of two months.

Each week we featured on a different album from within the set and through a mixture of archive pictures and memorabilia, video content, historical fact & trivia and newly created imagery engaged fans in immersive way. Fans were also encouraged to share their own memories of the album and the period and were also offered several competitions linked to the activity.

The Bowie playlist. To support this we created a Spotify playlist which was updated each week to reflect the focus album of that week, combining big hits with more obscure tracks to appeal to a wide gambit of fans.

This allowed us to build streaming numbers as well as pre-orders for the box set and also provide a rich stream of content for fans across Bowie’s online properties, celebrating this incredible period in the career of one of music’s most influential artists.

Results and key learnings

Average daily streams across the Bowie catalogue up 10% following the activity. The playlist has almost 9K followers who continue to engage with the catalogue. Posts across combined Facebook reach of over 16m.

Over 57K clicks to retail across campaign, each driving to high value box set. Strong pre-order numbers for the box set which charted across the world.

Key learnings: good example of how external activity (i.e. release of boxset) can be used to drive streaming activity on an ongoing basis.

For a campaign like this to work, we need to have the correct level of access to socials and support from those that control them. We were very lucky in that Mark who runs Bowie’s socials was completely on board and able to provide us priceless knowledge and archive material.

Links and extra info





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