Scott Monty, the Executive Vice President of Strategy at SHIFT Communications, wrote a post on LinkedIn that puts Weird Al Yankovic in a completely differently light.
For those of you that might not know who Weird Al is… he is a musician and an artist that has made a name for himself in the music industry by creating musical parodies of popular hit songs. Some of his more famous works include: “Eat it” (parody of Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’), “Another One Rides the Bus” (parody of Queen’s ‘Another Bites the Dust’), “Tacky” (parody of Pharrell Willams’ ‘Happy’), “Party in the C.I.A” (parody of Miley Cyrus’ ‘Party in the USA), and many more.
Here is a taste of Weird Al’s work.
Scott Monty’s perspective on Weird Al, aside from being a fan of his work, states that Weird Al is in fact a marketing genius. Monty breaks Weird Al’s success into Weird Al’s 3 Marketing Rules.
Weird Al Marketing Rule #1 :
Understand your audience and create content to suit their tastes.
Weird Al understands the important of the audience and their role in his success. Just like any successful business should, Weird Al takes the time to gain insight and knowledge into who is making up my audience, what do they want/need from me, how can I become engaged with my audience?
Weird Al’s huge success can be attributed to marketing rule #1. Never overlook or take your audience for granted.
Weird Al Marketing Rule #2:
Create strong relationships with key stakeholders and give them something of value.
Weird Al’s parody work is protected under the “fair use” provision of U.S copyright law, so Weird Al does not need the permission of any artist before creating a parody of their work. This being said, Weird Al always makes it a point to seek personal permission from each and every artist before publishing his parodies. He wants to position himself and his work in a way that is a compliment to the artist being parodied.
Monty writes, “Weird Al essentially has gotten the attention and trust of these well-known personalities, and if they approve of his lampooning of their work, they’re likely to help promote the parody (because in a sense, they’re legitimizing and promoting their own work as well).” This is a great lesson to be had, creating strong relationships with even individuals that may seem like competitors can create unforeseen opportunities immediately or even down the road.
Weird Al Marketing Rule #3:
Create anticipation for your product/event/announcement.
Weird Al was able to successfully “tease” fans and create anticipation for the release of his parodies. Utilize media avenues that will best reach your fans. Weird Al, for example, heavily uses YouTube and Twitter to promote his song releases. Create strategic partnerships with other companies or individuals that are involved in the product, event, or general business announcement. This can increase anticipation by increase the amount of exposure for the particular announcement.
Weird Al Yankovic is an true example of how you can… MARKET LIKE A ROCK STAR!
To read Scott Monty’s full article on Weird Al, click here.