CAMPAIGNS: E-PR - New Nirvana material has online launch

Client: Polydor Records
PR Team: Hyperlaunch
Campaign: Online launch of Nirvana's greatest hits album
Timescale: October 2002
Budget: Undisclosed

Eight years after the death of Kurt Cobain, Polydor released a new compilation album of Nirvana's greatest hits this autumn. Nirvana includes re-mastered classics such as Smells Like Teen Spirit and Come As You Are, but also features You Know You're Right, recorded just before Cobain's death and never previously released.

Online PR agency Hyperlaunch, a music and film campaign specialist, was tasked with promoting the album and single online in the UK.

Objectives

The primary aim of the online campaign was to maximise exposure of the release by placing as many features and reviews as possible online.

Strategy and Plan

The PR team faced challenges in its promotion of the new Nirvana album online. There was a tight timeframe, with online activity starting just two weeks before the launch on 28 October and continuing beyond it.

In addition there was a huge amount of secrecy about the final track listing of the CD, which could not be revealed until the day of the launch.

Massive anticipation of the album in the music press, which had expected an album with previously unreleased material for some time, meant that selling in the story was never going to be a problem.

However, the PR team had to make sure that the coverage not only reached diehard Nirvana fans and alternative music websites, but also a mainstream audience ranging from potential new teenage fans, to people in their early 30s who would have been students when Nirvana broke onto the UK music scene with the seminal Nevermind album in 1991.

The launch was supported by the availability of a new Nirvana video stream for the unreleased song, and a downloadable screensaver.

As well as getting sites to run reviews and offer the video stream and screensaver, Hyperlaunch wanted to help create events around the launch.

It worked alongside NME during its Nirvana Week to make sure the website had everything it needed, including the band's back catalogue for a competition.

The agency also helped XFM and Kerrang's sites with online 'listening parties' and promotions for the album.

Measurement and Evaluation

Reviews and video streaming were run on a wide range of portals, music sites and lifestyle sites as a result of the online PR campaign.

These included BBC News, Freeserve, Virgin, Capital Gold, The Sun, The Daily Telegraph, Maxim, local BBC sites and WHSmith, as well as more niche music sites such as Drowned in Sound. Competitions were run on a number of sites, including Radio 1, Guitarist, Tower Records, and BBC TOTP2.

Results

Well over 12,000 views of the new video were streamed in the UK. The Nirvana album entered the charts at number three in the first week of release, beaten only by David Gray and Gareth Gates.

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