Mapping Taylor Swift’s masterful marketing of Midnights
From elusive TikTok posts to billboards scattered around the globe, here’s how the country-singer-turned-pop star kept Swifties hooked during the lead-up to her 10th album.
The pop superstar has, once again, broken records with her latest release / Credits: Republic Records
Brands and marketers have much to learn from Taylor Swift.
In the last two months, the 11-time Grammy winner broke both Billboard and Spotify records following the release of her 10th studio album Midnights. Here’s how she, her PR team and her record company skyrocketed her stardom.
The birth of something big
In late August, the singer-songwriter took to Instagram to describe her upcoming album, Midnights, as “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout [her] life.” It was the beginning of a slew of truly brilliant marketing moves.
The 13-track album officially dropped October 21 on Universal Music Group subsidiary Republic Records, at – as one might expect – midnight. It went on to become Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single day, and Swift would break the record for the most-streamed artist in a single day in Spotify history. (According to Spotify data, Swift’s last release, Red (Taylor’s Version), broke the streaming service’s record for the most streamed album in a day by a female artist, breaking the record she previously held with her 2020 album Folklore.)
By October 31, Swift had broken yet another record, becoming the first-ever artist to occupy all 10 top slots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
10 out of 10 of the Hot 100??? On my 10th album??? I AM IN SHAMBLES. https://t.co/q1n5Zc6pYA
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) October 31, 2022
The Swift social strategy
While Swift’s fan base is as diverse and vast as her discography, a majority of her fans are younger, and therefore can often be found on TikTok. To further pique their interest, the singer posted a campy series of videos on TikTok titled ‘Midnights mayhem with me,’ during which she used a bingo cage to randomly select one song off the 13-track album and announce its title (as all real Swifties know, 13 is her lucky number). The final video in the series announced track four, Snow On The Beach, which features vocals from Lana Del Rey. The cryptic videos, in their ironically drab ‘70s style, were a huge success, generating over 86m views and counting.
@taylorswift Midnights tracklist reveal!! Introducing: Midnights Mayhem with Me #TSmidnighTS #SwiftTok #MidnightsMayhemWithMe ♬ Midnights Mayhem episode 1 - Taylor Swift
While Swift divulged her song titles one by one on TikTok, she was also working with Spotify to release lyric snippets on billboards around the world. By October 17, the first billboards were revealed at – you guessed it – midnight in New York City and London.
What’s in Taylor’s wallet?
Hot off the album’s buzz, fans are now gearing up for a presale for ‘The Eras’ Tour,’ a 2023 tour spanning the myriad phases the artist has been through during her prolific career. All they must do is apply for a Capital One credit card to snag tickets on November 16 (the presale window had been postponed due to unprecedented demand, according to several reports).
The bank holding company has been partnered with Swift since 2019, and the pop icon has fronted a handful of campaigns for different Capital One products, including the Savor card. In late 2020, the duo jointly offered fans exclusive merchandise, including blankets, T-shirts, album-themed bundles and even signed CDs.
Earlier this month, Capital One unveiled new work starring Swift titled ‘Multiple Taylors,’ made in partnership with Austin, Texas-based creative agency GSD&M. Comprising two spots, the campaign premiered during the World Series Game 3.
The work highlights the Capital One Venture X card as well as Swift‘s many ‘eras‘ – a well-placed promotion for the star‘s forthcoming tour.
According to the bank, Venture X cardholders earn both unlimited double miles on all purchases as well as “exclusive access to unforgettable experiences,” including the tour presale premium.
At the same time, Swift herself embodies the various Venture X benefits. For example, when the voiceover states that cardholders receive “two times miles on every purchase,” two Swifts deliberate over a purchase. One is dressed in an outfit with white top, shorts and garters from 1989, and the other in a purple chiffon dress from Speak Now.
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