Collect Them All

It is a big week in the pop musical world with two musical monoliths releasing their new albums; One Direction and Justin Bieber. But the battle has only just started as both artists will now be closely watching the charts to see who will outsell the other. Now it comes down to the marketing and one of these giants has a very clever strategy which could quadruple their ticket sales!


There is a concept called ‘advertising fatigue’. Essentially, we only want to see the same piece of advertising a certain number of times before we classify it old news and block it out. The same thing happens with sounds, pictures and kids’ toys at Christmas time. There is only a certain amount of time that something is considered a novelty before we get bored, move on and block it from our awareness.

So how do you make sure that your product doesn’t go down the same route? Make sure that your potential audience keeps noticing it when they pass it on a shelf or see it in an advertisement? You have to give them something new to see.

And that is exactly what One Direction has done! Their latest album ‘Made in the A.M.’ has been released with four different collectible covers – one for each member of the boy band.

There are two marketing strategies behind this incredibly clever move. The first is pretty obvious. This novelty item has the potential to quadruple their record sales to the incredibly invested and devoted fans. Having to choose just one of the four members will surely be a traumatic experience for many tweens across the world prompting the possibility of buying their album more than once. I sense some very low bank accounts this month!

The second marketing strategy combats this idea of advertising fatigue. Having four different covers means that it will take potential purchasers four times as long to stop noticing the album as a novel stimulus compared to Justin Bieber’s release. And this will give them plenty more opportunities to contemplate a potential purchase.

This is not uncommon in advertising. AAMI rolled out their Rhonda campaign over a series of different advertisements to keep audiences turning their attention back to the campaign after they had become fatigued of the previous installment. Melbourne Theatre Company even used it with this year’s program brochure. With plenty of shows to choose from in their 15/16 season, a whole range of brochures were created with different cover artwork featuring one of their works. I can’t tell you the number of season brochures that I now have at home because I kept thinking that it was a new release – but rather it made me take another look at the shows that were coming up.

Potential audiences already tune out enough advertising during the day by fast-forwarding advertisements, transitioning from radios to their own music libraries and ignoring online adverts. So if you are lucky enough to reach your target market when they aren’t doing one of these anti-advertising activities – make sure that your existing content hasn’t been automatically filtered out!