On August 24th, Taylor Swift’s explosive new single “Look What You Made Me Do”, off her upcoming “Reputation” album broke the internet. The single’s music video was released at the VMA’s and knocked out all previous streaming records. It now holds the title of most YouTube global streams in a 24-hour period with 43.2 million views.
Catchy music alone isn’t enough to break records. Swift’s success is also the product of her social media and marketing prowess. One example of this is her strategic use of corporate sponsorships.
Partnerships aren’t a new tactic for the music superstar. Swift is known for aligning herself with various brands during album rollouts, including her 2012 partnership with Papa John’s to promote the album “Red”. In this case, she timed the announcement of three major partnerships to coincide with the release of her single and used each one in a strategic way.
United States Postal Service
UPS announced that it is the official delivery partner for Swift’s new album by releasing a mysterious video on social media showing Swift mysteriously packing a white gift box into a UPS box. The company has also created Swift-branded vehicles, which will soon be seen in Nashville, Atlanta, and New York City and other cities leading up to the November album launch nationwide.
Taking this to the next level, UPS is asking fans to post photos of the decaled UPS trucks on social media. Followers who use the hashtag #TaylorSwiftDelivery could win an “improved opportunity” to buy Taylor Swift concert tickets when she goes on tour.
Taylor has worked to expand the excitement of the single from listener’s headphones to their TV screens. ABC dropped a promotional video featuring “Look What You Made Me Do” the same night the single dropped. The promo featured the female leads of hit ABC shows including Ellen Pompeo (Grey’s Anatomy), Kerry Washington (Scandal) and Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder). All three shows promoted the single on social media, using the designated #TGITaylor hashtag.
Swift is a self-declared Grey’s Anatomy fan, so the partnership seamlessly fits into her own personal brand. The shows the promos appeared on are popular with Swift’s fan base. This partnership, and play off of the “Reputation” title, inundated the airwaves and left no audience untouched.
Taylor Swift is known for her strong relationship with her fans. She often gives them inside looks at her life. The debut of the AT&T Taylor Swift NOW catalog partnership made a play on that “reputation”. In the new commercial promoting the catalog, Swift gave viewers a window into a fictional day in her life. Andy Samberg costars in the video, adding his name to list of high profile tie ins. Always circling back to the single, the video’s social caption plays on looking at what we made Taylor do.
Whether you are a Taylor Swift fan or not, it’s undeniable that the launch of Taylor Swift’s new single is an example of brilliant marketing strategy. Her use of strategic partnerships broadened the conversation. These buzzworthy partnerships fit seamlessly with the Taylor Swift brand and the image she is portraying with the new single, making this a lesson for all in flawless launch strategy. We’re taking notes from you Taylor!