Four years after James Morrison’s last album, his label wanted to reconnect with fans, whether hardcore or latent.

Note, the text below was supplied by the team behind the campaign.


Island Records

Team members involved

Holly Williams – Marketing (Island Records)
Faye Williams – Digital (Island Records)
Charlie Drinkwater – Digital (Island Records)

Campaign breakdown

Budget: £5k – £10k
Audience demographic: 69% female / 31% male, age 18-34, UK

Overview of campaign

The release of James Morrison’s latest album Higher Than Here presented various challenges. Firstly, it had been four years since James’ last album and the market and ways to connect with fans had changed dramatically. Secondly, his online channels had been untouched within that time, we had to start from scratch in terms of engaging his hard-core & latent fanbase.

Using budget that would have ordinarily been spent on TV advertising, we created a ‘mockumentary’ style online content series that would challenge perceptions of James & highlight some of the ever evolving trends and fads that record labels are often guilty of trying to enforce on artists.

James has a very dry sense of humour, so we were confident that he could play the role of exasperated artist surrounded by record company idiots. The content was serialised online with 3 ‘teaser’ episodes, culminating with a 17-minute James Morrison VS The Music Industry video documentary (645 shares / organic reach of 634k fans to date), all natively uploaded to Facebook.

We utilised Twitter and Instagram by creating engaging gifs & native videos of best clips. The response from fans and media was fantastic; we saw our highest engagement rates to date. Offline, it was also a talking point with both BBC Breakfast & ITV’s Lorraine showing clips of the documentary, further exposure for James week of release of the album.

We achieved a 4th top ten album for James and the content over delivered on our three main objectives:

• Challenge perceptions of James and showcase his personality.

• Re-activate his social channels, increase engagement / deepen sentiment with fans

• Give media a talking point beyond just James having a new album out

James Morrison: “I can take the piss out of myself and have been doing this for 10 years, so many fads have come and gone, it’s difficult to keep up but I think as long as you’re true to who you are, you’ll be alright in the end”.

Results and key learnings

• Facebook audience growth increased by 369% during the two weeks we released the videos and album compared to the period before. 143% increase for Twitter.

• We reached over 166% of James’ total Facebook audience and engaged 64% more fans than the previous two weeks.

• The first video on Facebook – James V Nelly Furtado – had over 85k views in less than 24hrs, now on 108k views and an organic reach of 380k.

• This was also one of James most retweeted tweets to date with 135 retweets and 211 likes

• The final full piece video, which posted natively on Facebook, has now had 294,707 views and has been shared 645 times (+700% on average share #) the post has a reach of almost 1 million fans.

• The content became a talking point beyond online with clips featuring during James’ TV and press interviews to promote the album.

• This shows just how reactive James’ fans are to the content which gives a true insight in to James’ personality, and is something we will be using at the forefront of our strategy moving forward in the campaign.

Links and extra info

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