Written by Luke Charalambous
Not many albums in recent history have had the build up or anticipation that surrounded Blonde, the second studio album from Frank Ocean. After the critical acclaim of Channel Orange, fans awaited the next with baited breath. But it never materialised. Years passed, social media rumours grew, basked in a short-lived sun and wilted – and yet no new album appeared.
That was until this week, four years later, when the world awoke to a tidal wave of new content from the man himself.
But, it was not just music that was released. In a similar vein to Beyonce’s Lemonade release earlier this year, Blonde was accompanied by a surprise visual album entitled Endless, a limited-edition print publication named Boys Don’t Cry and supported with a range of pop-up shops in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and London.
Music aside, Frank Ocean’s promotion of Blonde was nothing short of a masterclass. Any professional in the communications industry, be it B2B or B2C, should have their notepad and pen at the ready.
Because regardless of whether your client is a musical superstar or an early stage regtech start-up, using a variety of media and content is a valuable tool.
Have a catchy campaign idea with a killer headline? Why waste it on just an article? As Frank Ocean exhibited – a great idea can be reused and refreshed across multiple media formats, all with great effect.
Books, eBooks, reports and whitepapers can seriously add weight to thought leadership. And why stop there? Pull out your key facts or statistics and plug them into a visual such as a cartoon or infographic. Then launch it all at an event with a hand-picked guestlist of industry professionals, influencers and prospects and voila, your campaign has transcended the modest article it started as.
Alongside a collective mix of media, Frank Ocean also highlighted the value of collaboration. Of course, for most companies it might be difficult to secure an exclusive poem from Kanye West declaring his love for McDonalds. But, alongside the right idea, a well-picked partner can pack a punch and get your message across a wider audience. Timed well, and used wisely, collaboration can really bolster engagement.
Ultimately, Frank Ocean has highlighted that all brands should, and could, do more. An integrated campaign that covers all the bases will resonate with your audience far more than one element in isolation.
Brilliance shouldn’t be wasted, and a great idea should always be gifted a host of platforms from which to shine.
We all need to stop thinking pond, and start thinking Ocean.