He knows you want him. Mr. Worldwide, Mr. 305, Pitbull — whatever you may call him — has a hold of his fans. Nine years since his first release, Pitbull is still in the spotlight. So when on May 8th, 2012, Pitbull released Original Hits, an album of his earlier songs, it came as no big surprise that it hit #134 on the Billboard Top 200 (though it was definitely still exciting!).
So how does an artist use the Internet, which is already swarming with free streaming services and thousands of other artists, to sell his or her songs? In this article, we’ll go through the digital advertising plan of Pitbull’s album and his successful results as an example of what an artist can do.
To start, here is a quick overview of the results of his campaign. Pitbull’s first week sales were 3,753, of which 66% were physical. Original Hits was #119 on the Top Current Albums Chart, #134 on the Billboard Top 200, #13 on the Current Rap Albums chart, #19 on the Current R&B albums, and more… And, only a week after its release, 15,275,050 total impressions were delivered. Not too shabby!
Within the campaign, we used many different components, one of which was VEVO. The objective of using the premium music video platform was to build awareness about the album, with an emphasis on impressions and reaching Pitbull’s younger core fan base. So before all VEVO videos, specifically Pop, Hip-Hop/Urban and Latin genre videos, advertisements and banners of Original Hits at Best Buy would roll. The ads, which only ran until May 16th did extremely well! While our focus was on driving impressions, the pre-roll spot led to a 3.29% CTR, which accounted for more than 80% of the campaign’s activity. This led to 572,388 Best Buy impressions and 3,547 total clicks.
Other key components were Google text ads and YouTube pre-rolls that were paired with Walmart tags. You know those ads at the top of your Google searches? Well that’s what we did and it worked, leading to results above the industry average! As seen in the screenshot below, when searching anything related to Pitbull, an ad for the CD at Walmart appeared. Not only did Pitbull get 1,464 clicks but also 782,258 impressions.
The YouTube pre-roll, similar to the VEVO pre-roll, targeted a younger fan base, specifically men and women between the ages of 18 to 34 in the U.S.. The most successful placements ranged from Pop hits — by Justin Bieber, Adele and John Mayer — to Hip-Hop videos of Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, and of course Pitbull. The CTR was 1.44% and led to 31, 857 impressions. The total Walmart impressions were great, with 814,115.
One of the most successful aspects of the campaign were the Facebook ads, which encouraged users to buy the album at Best Buy and on iTunes. The objective of the Best Buy ads was to generate awareness of the album and brand recall to stimulate first week sales of CD in the stores, with an emphasis on impressions rather than click-throughs to buy the CD. Incorporated on Pitbull’s page was a Webdoc, an app that creates interactive pages. His Webdoc app included a 30-second video and direct links to buy the album. Pitbull’s Best Buy ads appearing on the side of Facebook pages directed traffic directly to the Webdoc app. We recorded 1,576 clicks and the Best Buy impressions were some of the highest of the campaign with 4,744,882!
The goal of the iTunes ads on Facebook was also to raise awareness and encourage pre-orders and first week sales. The ads drove the traffic directly to iTunes leading to 3,743,665 impressions and 1,493 clicks. A week after the release of the album, there were 35 transactions (a conversion rate of 2.34%).
Finally, we retargeted web banners for the CD, placing them on sites such as HopStop, Playlist, Grooveshark, IMDb, Billboard, and VH1. Over 5.4 million impressions were served the week prior to the release and the CTR for the retargeted banners was .11%.
While the web seems like a big scary place that will swallow you and your campaign whole instead of helping you, what we saw with Pitbull’s Original Hits is that there are many different components an artist can use to help promote his or her album — successfully.