The Marketing of Weird Al Yankovic

The way Weird Al chose to release the music videos for his latest album has been brilliant in my opinion. The 8 days 8 videos model, for him in particular, is a great idea. Now instead of talking about the videos themselves, which most of you have probably seen. I want to discuss how they were released, which I think helped get Weird Al to his first number one album. In some ways I was kind of amazed that he had never had a number one album because his music is witty, funny, and just great parody of artists and current pop culture. At the same time I think part of his success for this was tied heavily in to the Social Media aspect of YouTube. It created a way for people to easily share and then remark on the videos as they came out. The other piece is, as mentioned before, he built up an expectation. We knew that over 8 days we were going to get 8 different videos and the question was what song would be next. Finally, I think the other part of the success is that all the videos were not released on one channel or station, he utilized a variety of very popular website / YouTube channels, including Vevo, to get his music out to as wide a range as possible.

Social Media Promotion

Social Media can be huge for a video going viral and something that makes fun of a popular song I think is ripe for going viral. Now I did not really see all of Weird Al’s music videos show up on my various feeds, but if even one got through it made you look for more. By utilizing YouTube it makes it easy to share the video and for the very idea of a new Weird Al album to get passed around. In the age of the Internet Social Media can really help something to blow up and Weird Al definitely tapped into that market with how he released these music videos. I think it also helped that in most, if not all, the videos there was some other big name involved. “Tacky” in particular has an amazing list of comedians in the song with Weird Al. My personal favorite being Jack Black with a sparkly fanny pack. These are the type of images that make you want to share and pass along the craziness.

Sense of Expectation

Now for those who were in on the 8 days 8 videos early enough they were anticipating that a new video would be released every day. By varying where it would appear it meant you had to search for it a little bit, but I think that helped build the desire for it. I wonder if the euphoria of finding the video added to our enjoyment of watching it. Also, there is always the question of what song is he going to parody from Lorde’s “Royals” to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” it is fun either trying to guess what song it is or knowing it and seeing the twist that Weird Al gives to it. I think while the music Weird Al puts out is fantastic he really shines with the music video he creates. The concepts that he uses in his video are unique and interesting and always contain some element to amaze.

Multiple Channels

The other piece that I think is important to mention are the many channels that Weird Al used to release his videos. I found a few on Vevo, one on Funny or Die, one on Nerdist, one on College Humor, and one on Yahoo. These are all different sites with a slightly different audience. Vevo is meant specifically for music videos and it is where I think you can find the best video “Word Crimes”. At the same time if he just released on Vevo that would have reduced the potential audience actually watching it because I don’t know how many people actually go seek out music videos the way that I sometimes do. This way if someone did not know about the 8 days 8 videos thing they might still stumble upon a video from one of the various places it was posted and then hopefully want to find out more and potentially finding more videos.

Number One Album

I think all of these factors has led to the album making it to a number one spot. People got to experience the videos first and then want to get the song to relive the memory of the video. The video might always be available online, but sometimes we might want to be able to listen while unconnected. By listening to the song, especially if we have seen the music video, we can be taken back to the images present in those videos. In the case of Weird Al I think any of the songs should bring a smile to your face because how can you not think of the weird and oddball things that happened during them.

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2 responses to “The Marketing of Weird Al Yankovic

  1. Oh geez! He is gold isn’t he, always great but especially when he talks about grammar hehe

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Content Catnip and commented:
    ‘I saw your blog post
    It was fantastic
    That was sarcastic
    Because you write like a spastic’

    – Weird Al Yankovic breaks it down for all of us spastics hahaha

    Like

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