Client: Zomba Records
PR Team: LD Publicity
Campaign: Backstreet Boys' global album promotion
Timescale: mid-September-November 21
American group Backstreet Boys is the most successful boy band in the world, having sold 55 million copies of their last three albums. Their latest album Black and Blue was released on the 21 November.
To promote the release of Black and Blue across the globe. To create worldwide demand for the album. To gain international press and broadcast coverage in key international locations, targeting each country's media to coincide with the band's arrival there.
Strategy and Plan
LD Publicity was hired by record label Jive Records (owned by Zomba Records), to publicise the album.
The members of the band had come up with the idea of doing a round-the-world publicity tour and LD was hired to implement it.
A Boeing 737 was chartered in the US and painted outside with the band's livery and the album's branding.
The plane usually holds nearly 220 passengers, but this one was kitted out with just 30 seats and had a separate bedroom and shower.
LD decided to get a news team together that could fly around the world with the band. They wanted a really hot TV crew and so invited companies to pitch. Reuters' presentation impressed LD the most so it was given the job.
To provide written coverage, the team hired the services of pop music writer Michelle Garnett. The band's own photographer was given the extra role of press photographer for the duration of the tour. Finally, a technician was hired to get the digital images over via satellite phone to a company in London that would distribute them across the globe. Also, six satellite feeds were booked enabling non-subscribers to Reuters to access footage.
LD Publicity tour publicist Ann Cooper oversaw the whole trip and was aboard the plane managing the entire news team, ensuring that they met all their deadlines.
On Thursday 15 November the plane arrived to pick up the band from Stockholm, where they had attended the MTV Europe music awards. With all the European music press in attendance and seeking photo opportunities, LD hired two Swedish models to pose as air stewardesses with the band.
On Friday the plane set off, with Tokyo its first port of call. From there the band went on to Sydney, Cape Town, Rio and finally New York.
Tens of thousands of fans were waiting at each location and the media were given plenty of opportunity to have press conferences and photo opportunities.
Some media were invited on to the plane, as well as a video crew hired by Zomba. When the band arrived in New York they announced their forthcoming world tour.
Measurement and Evaluation
The story of the band's tour and the news of the release of their fourth album gained extensive media coverage.
Primetime broadcast and headline news was attained in all of the countries visited. Music magazines also ran the story.
Black and Blue entered the British album chart at number 13 last weekend.
The Backstreet Boys managed to visit six continents in a very short space of time. In all, the band spent 100 hours on the round-the-world promotional tour, 45 hours on the ground and 55 in the air.
With the farcical US presidential election casting a negative light on all things American, the Backstreet Boys provided a welcome tonic to the overseas image of Uncle Sam.