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How TV revitalised a fading classic

How TV revitalised a fading classic

By Stephen Juson & Sameer Amin for Manning Gottlieb OMD

The Background

Historically, Nina Simone has a niche fan-base in the UK with past albums selling only modest amounts: on average, 80,000 copies per release. 

The release of 2006’s “Very Best of” was seen as high risk.

High risk means low budget.  However if we could create early success Sony BMG would be prepared to invest more.

To meet this challenge, reverse the sales trend and secure more investment we would have to deliver a campaign that would embrace Nina Simone’s core fan base but also introduce the artist to a more vibrant, younger audience of 25-44 women.

An audience that buys £75 worth of CDs and downloads a year.
The Big Idea

Muller had been using the Nina Simone song “Ain’t got no, I got life” as their advertising soundtrack from March 2005 to May 2006.

Studying the delivery of Muller’s advertising we found that 88 per cent of women, 25-44 had heard the Muller remix of Simone’s track an average of 14 times.

We commissioned OMD insight to ascertain the popularity of the song, how well they connected it to Nina Simone, and whether it was a powerful enough influencer to stimulate album sales Using Snapshots, our weekly survey of 2,500 representative adults we asked our questions.

The results were incredibly positive. Having listened to a clip, women 25-44 demonstrated the greatest affinity of all audiences (more than the traditional core!) with 34 per cent liking it a lot and 70 per cent liking it overall.

However, whilst the younger audience like it more, they had the lowest level of correct attribution amongst those surveyed.

Nearly 70 per cent didn’t correctly identify the singer. It was clear that Muller was the key to unlocking our new audience.  The challenge would be exploiting it in its home (TV) environment. 

Implementation - “I got life, I got lifestyle”

Using key “lifestyle” digital channels, we negotiated the tagging of all Muller advertising.  Every time a Muller ad appeared, we would be right there next to them.

With just two weeks to prove ourselves (most catalogue releases only last a month) and secure additional investment, our implementation had to be incredibly focused.

We needed channels and programmes that delivered both our breakout audience as well as the ‘golden oldies’ at a cost effective price.  We identified Channel 4’s Lifestyle strand as the perfect ‘heart’ of our campaign.

Whereas previous Nina Simone campaigns would look to the more traditional older home of ITV, we would look to reach two birds with one stone.

Programmes not only indexed highly against the core audience of 45+ (with a slight upmarket bias), they also performed consistently better than ITV for 25-44 year old women.
The Results

An average Nina Simone album sold 80,000 copies.  The Very Best of Nina Simone has sold 443,000 copies to date and was in the top 10 for 13 weeks.

Whereas the majority of catalogue releases last on average one month, the immediate success of our strategy has created a virtuous circle of investment lasting (continuously) for 6 months.

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