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February 15, 2024

What Beyoncé’s Superbowl Adverts Can Tell Us About Music Marketing…

Beyoncé sprang not one but two surprises on us with her 60-second, $30 million advert. One Nine Nine’s Andy Buchan picks apart her incredible marketing strategy to see what lessons us mere mortals can take away… 

Fittingly, in the most-watched live TV event since the moon landing, (Queen) Beyoncé announced the second of her Renaissance trilogy. 

It was fitting for several reasons. 

Beyoncé is the master of this surprise album drop, having helped pioneer the marketing stunt back in 2013 for her self-titled 5th studio album. 

And it was fitting as if you’re going to execute another surprise album drop, you might as well do it when it feels like the whole world is watching (123.4 million live viewers and countless millions afterwards). Oh, and she also got the whole project paid for by Verizon - how’s that for marketing power? 

Her ‘no singles’ 2013 album drop created the marketing playbook for artists like Drake and Taylor Swift to follow. It also changed the way albums are released - before Beyonce, albums were often released on a Tuesday. Beyoncé's Friday drop set the new standard. 

The surprise album drop is a great way to get everyone talking about your project at the same time. But, let’s be honest, it does help if you have an advertiser willing to pay for a prime-time platform to make that surprise. 

The other noteworthy takeaway from Beyoncé’s sublime music marketing display is that on her new album, Renaissance Act II, she’s gone full country and western on her new release. Which is all the more surprising considering the doof-doof house beats of her previous were such a big hit. From house music to country in a one-minute video? That’s quite the musical pivot.  

This begs the question - if we can learn music marketing tips from her on her album promo campaigns, can the same be said for how she takes on music genres almost at the drop of a (cowboy) hat? 


Riding musical trends can be a vital marketing tool in your career. They give you currency, they give you a marketing angle that makes you part of a larger picture. One of the biggest trends at the moment in music is blurring those musical boundaries and releasing music that spans a number of different genres. Another trend gaining traction is for dance music DJs and producers to ride the fast/hard techno trends shaping club land. 

But… riding these trends (or joining a bandwagon) works best when you dip into it, when your musical switch-up is for a single track or collaboration. 

One of the key tenets of music marketing is consistency. It’s easier to attract fans with consistent music, content and brand. We might live in a Spotify playlist era that increasingly blurs the genre lines, but your music and branding still need to be consistent within that. 

However, the rules change slightly when you’re Beyoncé - because very few artists operate in the same rarefied atmosphere as the ex-Destiny’s Child singer. And don’t forget, she hinted at country music in her 2016 release ‘Lemonade,’ signposting the way for her country and western album some 8 years later. 

So, what did we learn from Beyoncé’s Superbowl halftime ad?

Be more Queen Bey, but maybe leave the Folktronica, Vaporwave or Catstep album until a little later in your career?

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