Rihanna: New Approach to the Album Launch: UNLOCKED

Publication: Mashable

Title: Rihanna’s UNLOCKED Redefines the Album Launch

Article by: Zachary Sniderman



For her upcoming album launch for Talk That Talk, Rihanna is taking a new approach.  She’s using the interactive Facebook app UNLOCKED that invites fans to discover new details about the album bit by bit.

Mashable reports the idea behind UNLOCKED:

“The premise behind UNLOCKED is actually pretty simple: Users “Like” the page and then go on “missions” to uncover content released by Rihanna’s label, Island Def Jam. For example, fans were asked to submit a certain amount of fake lyrics to earn the lyric sheet for Rihanna’s album. Other unlocks so far include Rihanna’s new “R” logo, the single “We Found Love,” Rihanna’s new website, album release date and album cover.”

As it turns out UNLOCKED has worked remarkably well for Rihanna.  Even though she already has a massive social media presence, she still gained nearly 1 million new Twitter followers and created over 2.5 million tweets.  She also gained more than 700,000 Facebook fans.  Her already-strong following probably aided in these impressive results- meaning a newer band shouldn’t expect the same outcome- but still, UNLOCKED has definitely demonstrated its effectiveness.

Rihanna’s label, Island Def Jam, will still run traditional advertising as well, but this new tactic shows (once again) how powerful social media can be.

“Any digital asset is going to spread online for an artist like Rihanna,” says Jon Vanhala, SVP of digital, brand integration and new business at Island Def Jam and Universal Music. The real reward is not so much unlocking the content as it is being one of the first people to share it out. “There’s social value for sure in getting something cool first and being able to share it,” Morrison says.

UNLOCKED definitely has potential to be successful in promoting products in other industries as well.


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