The Most Unusual Marketing Stories Of All Time.
1. The Beatles.
In the early ’60s, The Beatles were one of the hottest bands in the UK.
But just like today, the biggest music market was the US. And breaking into the US music market was super hard. Almost impossible for foreign artistes who were virtual unknowns at the time.
So, what to do?
Enter Brian Epstein. The manager of The Beatles.
Brian Epstein knew they needed to make a big splash if they wanted to be taken seriously in the US.
And from his experience with elaborate stage setups, he knew he needed to plan something big.
So, before they left the UK, the first thing he did was to hire hundreds of young girls. Teenagers mostly.
Then he hired amateur and mostly unknown actors who were instructed to dress up as police officers, paramedics and ambulance drivers.
He then went ahead to rent police cars and ambulances like moviemakers do.
Combining all of this, he created one of the greatest stage setups of all time.
On the day The Beatles left the UK to the US, around 4,000 “screaming fans” gathered to say goodbye.
Out of these 4,000 fans, most of them were the hired teenage girls.
The instruction given to the girls was pure hysteria – lose your minds once you see The Beatles.
They were told to just scream and go gaga.
How hard is that for teenage girls? Lol
The instructions given to some of the girls were to faint. And then at this point, the paramedics would dash in with first aid boxes, medical toolkits and stretchers to carry them off into the ambulances. Lmao 😁
In photographs of some of these stage setups, The Beatles would be on stage with fans screaming. In other photos, they’d be stepping off a plane with fans waving.
While in some others, they would be coming off a bus to thousands of adoring fans holding signs or wearing stickers like “I Love John” or “I Love Paul” or “I’m A Beatles Fan.”
As the cameras were rolling and the girls were fainting, the police officers were instructed to try to control the crowd. But not so much so it would look like the crowd overwhelmed them.
Remember, none of this was real.
But the packaged videos were so damn convincing that several weeks before the Beatles would arrive America they were sent to every major broadcast studio and the anticipation was fever crazy.
The raw genius of this man 😁
When the Beatles arrived in America, over 3,000 fans welcomed them at the airport.
And two days later, when they made their television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, it is estimated that 73 million Americans in 23 million households watched them live. About 34 per cent of the American population at that time.
Biographer Jonathan Gould writes that, according to the Nielsen rating service, it was “the largest audience that had ever been recorded for an American television program”.
Even though the first girls who fainted for them were acting, eventually thousands of young American girls and girls all over the world would go crazy and faint over and over again for them
The Beatles would go on to become the best-selling music act of all time, with estimated sales of 600 million album units worldwide.
They also held the first-ever stadium rock concert – 55,000 tickets sold out within hours.
This is a link to the concert.