The release of any content – a new film, a new video game, a new radio station, or a new album – is both a marketing challenge and a marketing opportunity. But when you're a brand that's been in the marketplace for 60 or so years, you have to prove your relevance in a world full of influencers, TikTok, and AI.
Yes, we're talking about the Rolling Stones, known by many as “the greatest rock n' roll band in the world.” And despite the temptation at this point to just play the old stuff, we're just a week or so away from having new Stones music to listen to and hopefully play.
Impressive for a band with a body of work that includes the following:
- 30 studio albums
- 13 live albums
- 28 compilation (greatest hits) albums
- 3 EPs (extended plays)
- 121 singles
- 33 box sets
- 51 video albums
- 2 video box sets
- 77 videos
I won't even go into their charting history, awards, inductions in various halls of fame, and one knighthood (Mick Jagger by the late Queen Elizabeth II in 2003).
So, the fact they have a new single coming in about a week, and a new album coming soon that are both generating immense media buzz in a period where we cannot keep track of the torrent of media content being cranked out is simply remarkable for a bunch of octogenarians. The Stones are not resting on their laurels. They're taking nothing for granted. To earn radio airplay and streams, they know they have to work it.
But hey, 80 is the new….70?
Mick Jagger is 80. Mitch McConnell is 81. The benefits of a life of sex, drugs, and rock-‘n'-roll should not be ignored. pic.twitter.com/zJ8ge1T2DA
— Jerry Avenaim (@avenaim) August 21, 2023
What would you expect from a band that's done it all, but finds the rock genre limping through another tough year?
Think about it. Our music attention span for rock – outside of Classic Rock concerts, of course – has been depleted.
Pop is being dominated by two flat-out superstars, Taylor and Beyoncé, raking in more cash than some countries' GDPs.
Country is experiencing a lift in top-of-mind awareness and airplay, thanks to politically infused songs by Jason Aldean and newcomer Oliver Anthony, whose “Rich Men North of Richmond” is being widely misinterpreted by the right, shades of “Born in the U.S.A.” With the Republican Presidential sweepstakes heating up, expect more of this.
And then there's Rock, the once dominant juggernaut of music sales and concert attendance, now scrapping to get noticed. New releases from 2010 bands rarely get noticed, and most songs fail to cross over anywhere.
That's why the Stones' most recent activities to promote a new album, “Hackney Diamonds,” is so impressive. To herald what is expected to be their new single, they're put up a website with a countdown clock.
The Stones are putting on a clinic in teasing, thanks to a coordinated, multi-platform effort that includes the web, sides of buildings, and even newspaper ads. Knowing the Stones, merch from shirts, hats, and lunch boxes can't be far behind.
Their newly designed shattered glass lips logo is suitable for logo ware and branded merchandise. You can even go to the album's website and smash it yourself.
The name itself has relevance. It turns out “hackney diamonds” is a Brit phrase for broken glass, often left over from smashed car windows.
The Stones even ran a clue-filled print ad in an old London publication, the Hackney Gazette. Its sponsor is Hackney Diamonds, a company founded in 1962 (just like the Stones):
Of course, you can always dial the phone number listed for a free quote – or who knows what.
More bombastically, the Stones are plastering massive buildings and other highly visible sites in major metros including New York, Chicago, Paris, Madrid, and of course, London. You can skim through the Instagram photos below to get a sense of this tease campaign's scope: