Creative Product Marketing with Primus (with an Appearance from Willy Wonka)

By Chris Hislop // Published on Nov 03, 2014

Unique. If your marketing collateral doesn’t include “unique” as a pre-meditated vantage point you’re missing the mark.

Creative marketing is what separates a brand from a brand consumers want to invest in. If people aren’t investing in what you’re working on, what’s the point? Labor of love? That’s called a hobby.

Creative marketing is the catalyst of driving sales for any product, service, or thought across any specific vertical.

In regards to industries, let’s take a quick look at the music recording industry. This industry is constantly under the microscope as of late. In flux between the old business model, and the “new” digital revolution, the ways record labels and bands make money is not clear-cut. In fact, many will argue that the recoding industry is set up to come crashing down in the near future.

That said, people will always consume music. Whether it’s purchased digitally, or as a tangible product is up to the specific end-user. Labels, management, and the artists themselves need to work harder than ever to provide a product to the consumer that is more engaging than the music itself. Enter creative marketing. It’s not new to the industry, but it’s more important than ever given the times.

How do you get a listener or fan to buy a tangible product?

Here’s a study:

Primus.

Whether you like them or not, Primus is one of the most innovative bands in the history of modern music. They’re not cranking out generic auto-tuned radio friendly hits. No. They’re living to attract a fan base that looks at music as a more cerebral experience. They’re challenging the notion of what you can do with music while trying to maintain integrity from the standpoint of creating something with entertainment value. It’s a fine balance, and one that few can claim any degree of success. Pink Floyd has done it. Frank Zappa has done it. Outside of that, the list is quite thin.

How does Primus tie into the theme of sound creative marketing?

Last week the group released its 8th studio album (on ATO Records), “Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble.”

It’s available in all major formats: CD, digital, and vinyl.

So how are they trying to drive the sales of tangible product and engage with it on a visceral level?

The vinyl version is pressed in a playful “chocolate” color. BUT, here’s the catch. Further in line with the thematic plot of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, there are five “golden tickets,” which are five versions of the vinyl record pressed in gold wax. The prize? Free Primus concert tickets for life. If you’re a fan of the band, you’re scraping together all the change under the couch cushions – scouring all the sewer drains for loose coin – chasing one of those golden versions of the record.

From Primus’ Wikipedia page:

To tie in with the album's Wonka theme, Primus began selling exclusive chocolate "Primus Bars" at live performances. The varieties are named after Primus songs: "Mr. Krinkle Bars" (from Pork Soda), "Professor Nutbutter Bars" (from Tales from the Punchbowl) and "Bastard Bars" (from Sailing the Seas of Cheese). "The tour and the album are solely a marketing tool just so we can sell candy bars," jokes Claypool. "That's the whole impetus of this entire project. Because the (expletive) recording industry rolled over and let this Internet (expletive) all over us. So we had to come up with another income stream, so we're making chocolate bars because you can’t digitize a chocolate bar — yet."

THAT is creative marketing. That is a win in expanding the imaginative bounds of the how an artist engages with fans – its consumer base – and pushes a suffering industry in a more inspired direction.

I played my hand at trying to strike it “rich” with the golden ticket. I lost. But I gained a playful vinyl that I’ll enjoy for a lifetime. And, truth be told, I’m thinking about buying a second copy… Those golden tickets are still out there, and they need to be found.

Looking for your “golden ticket” creative marketing idea? We LOVE brainstorming ideas and cultivating campaigns for our clients. Let’s collaborate.

"Our most important legacy will be the contributions we make to the lives of other human beings."
- Thomas Kinkad