The buzz throughout the Manilow world is all about Barry’s new CD, Fifteen Minutes. According to a recent hotline, a listening party for the CD was held. Attendees were employees and friends of Barry’s. Not quite an objective audience so the comments included in the hotline about the project were, not surprising, praising the CD. A week or so earlier, Garry Kief, Barry’s manager, asked on his Facebook page for ideas from the fans for promotion of Fifteen Minutes. Was this listening party an off shot of the ideas fans put forth? If so, it seems the Manilow team needs to make-up its mind about what audience they want to market the CD to and then embrace that audience.
Most of the suggestions made by fans had the marketing of the CD aimed at Barry’s loyal fan base. Just a few people thought outside of the box, away from the fans. Fans tend to think of themselves as being a big group. Maybe Barry’s base is large as fan bases goes but it must be remembered that Barry’s loyal fans are a sure thing when it comes to buying his CDs. Especially since this is a CD of original music. That’s something Manilow fans haven’t had since the 2001 Here at the Mayflower. Promotion should be aimed at a wider audience. Who is this wider audience?
If the Manilow team wants to target a younger audience then an up-to date method must be utilized. That means going viral. In the past Stiletto has pulled clips posted on YouTube and Daily Motion without their permission, which would be all the Manilow clips on the sites. Going back to embracing the audience, these tools would have to be used to attract younger listeners. This is how promotion is done nowadays. Fifteen Minutes is said to be a concept CD that tells a story. Barry has said in interviews that the CD tells the story of the handling of fame by a young person. That’s an interesting as well as a relevant storyline. Tell the story.
Copyright is a concern. At some point a decision has to be made: is Fifteen Minutes only going to be sold to the fans or should it be marketed to a larger audience? Viral is what creates a buzz in the music industry at this point in time. Other sites besides YouTube could be used maybe Podcasts of vignettes of the story with the music being the main focus. As bad as it sounds, it might be better if the music sold itself and the emphasis is off of Barry.
Reading the reviews of Barry’s Florida shows in January is a good example of why the emphasis should be on the music. Some people can’t get past the Barry of the 1970s or certain personal issues to give the music a fair chance. Making videos of the songs would get people emotionally involved with the music and lyricists. How many times do people hear a song and say, “oh, I love that song!” but never add the name the performer? Not many. It’s the music that draws people so let the music do the selling.
Then the question comes to mind, how feasible are any of the suggestions the fans made? Things like using Manilow TV or doing concerts for the fans sound like great ideas to the fans but are they doable? I have no idea. I think reaching out to a wider audience than the fans is the best way but I could be wrong. This is not an area I know anything about. My daughter-in-law knows about this stuff- she works in marketing for a record label. Hey, there’s a good suggestion, listen to the people who do marketing for a living, even if they want to step out of Barry’s comfort zone.
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what type of promotion is used for Fifteen Minutes. It’ll be interesting to see if any of the fan suggestions are used. As for me, I don’t need to be sold. I already plan to buy the CD. Can’t wait. What I’d like to see happen is my friends and co-workers wanting to go out and buy Fifteen Minutes. I hope someone comes up with a way to make that happen.