Introducing the Pet Shop Boys ... for Every Daily Mail Reader ...

I caught a TV ad yesterday afternoon for what appeared to be a Pet Shop Boys greatest hits compilation - featuring a bonus new track. The resolution of the videos seemed rather cheap and the track selection obvious - but this was not directing us to follow up the Pets' Brit Award by picking up Pop Art or Discography. We simply need to buy today's Mail on Sunday to collect our free CD.

Clearly someone has lost the plot. 

We know that Middle England loves the gays. Well, as long as they remain a safe distance, aren't having sex, stay away from our children, and camp it up in the style of Graham Norton or Michael Barrymore. But how hypocritical is it for The Mail unleash their vile homophobia throughout the week, only to reward readers with a free gift on the weekend from openly gay artists?

And what is Parlophone's strategy? How much have they spent on the cover mount deal (not to mention the prime time TV ad slots) to promote their celebrated act to the conservative middle class? If the intention is to market the artist to the widest group possible in advance of the Pets' new album, then I propose that the team at Parlophone go back to marketing school.

Partnership deals between the press and labels are now the norm - you almost expect your complimentary CD or DVD with the weekend papers now. But like any brand association, if the two products don't relate, the consumer will fail to develop trust with either brand - and the marketing is therefore ineffective.

I can't imagine that the Pet Shop Boys sanctioned this relationship. I hope heads will roll at Parlophone on Monday morning.


Gareth said...

Yeah M, I thought this partership was rather strange too. Neil has slated the Mail for years (for obvious reasons) and having to buy this rag in order to get my free CD made my skin crawl. I can't believe Neil and Chris would sanction this association.

Ethan said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one who's somewhat creeped out by this development.

I'd like to believe that this might tempt open-minded Daily Mail readers into becoming PSB fans, except that the paper's politics are so extreme that "open-minded Daily Mail readers" seems just shy of an oxymoron.

At the same time, it's not difficult to believe that this move will sell more PSB albums than it does Daily Mail issues -- over the long term and adjusted for relative cost. That wouldn't be such a bad thing, right?

Still, yes. Kinda creepy.

No clue man said...

Are PSB openly gay artists? I’m not so sure. I’d say they are subtly gay artists. Neil himself, in this month’s Attitude magazine, is bemoaning the fact that PSB are labelled as gay artist. And Chris has never actually publicly declared his sexuality.
I think this is quite simply a business decision – and one that had to be made. PSB are on a major label, not just that, they are on a major label that is financially struggling. Rightly or wrongly, the days of ‘artists’ being support by the massive sales of Coldplay, Robbie Williams etc are gone. I believe the Pets recently resigned to EMI – and I bet that is why we see them picking up a Brit Award, free Cds in the Daily Mail – they’ve actually got to start selling records again.
I hate the Mail as much as the next free-thinking person, but if you give out 2.2m cds and 3 or 4% of the people who get the CD then log on to iTunes and pre-order ‘Yes’ or download ‘PopArt’ – then that is good business.

Melnyk said...

It is a great business decision to create a positive brand association. It is a very poor one to create a partnership with two brands that have little in common and where the consumers of each are unlikely to reciprocate brand loyalty.

Why aim for just 2 or 3% of sales off the back of a multimillion campaign? Why not give every Independent or Attitude reader - who are more likely either be a PSB fan, or develop into one - a sampler with exclusive tracks and encourage them to either buy the new record or attend the coming tour?

This makes more sense in the long run, rather than taking a punt at an audience who has little interest in your product in the first place.

Of course we are making assumptions - maybe the conservative middle class are all closet electropop fans?