Taylor Swift: 1.287 Million Reasons Why Marketing Works

As lines between advertising, public relations, social media and SEO continue to blur, integrated marketing has become one of the best ways to market a brand. Encompassing all four disciplines successfully markets to target audiences both in real life (IRL) and in the bustling digital world. One personal brander and one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time has perfected this practice with the recent release of her all pop album, 1989. Let’s explore some of Taylor Swift’s brilliant tactics that’s leading the artist to break the record for most sold copies of an album in a single week since 2002:

Brand Partnerships

Swift is no stranger to partnering with big brands, but for this release she capitalized on not only one but two! With Swift becoming commonly known as someone who loves cats, especially her two — Meredith and Olivia, she launched a partnership with Diet Coke that features a spot with her and plethora of kittens that begin showing up in her living room each time she drinks her Diet Coke. What’s brilliant about it is that the spot, which appeared on TV a few days before the album release, featured an unheard, new song from 1989, and Swift herself voices a call-to-action to buy her album at the end of the spot. With only about 20 seconds of this new song used, fans couldn’t get enough and were only left guessing what the song was discussing and what more would come. It was simple, cute and very branded for Swift’s personality and interests.


Additionally, Swift partnered with Target through an exclusive Target-only edition of her 1989 album that included three bonus tracks and content. Also, a certain number of this special edition featured a special code that could be used to enter to win the SwiftStakes — a chance to get two tickets and a meet and greet to a future show or one of 1,989 other prizes.

Brand Programming & Product Demos

Swift didn’t hesitate or wait for the media to cover her album; instead, she created a news program utilizing a partnership with Yahoo!. Through a talk-show-esque program, Swift engaged with a live audience and live-streamed the show around the world, utilizing the time to talk about her new album, discuss what influenced it and gave a sneak peek of a new music video.

Furthermore, Swift began her prelaunch with a good old-fashioned product demo: a music video. She was able to “test-drive” the song for free on Vevo, receiving approximately 232 million views to date. The “Shake It Off” video became a sensation, making it her next big single, and featured Swift dancing and being playful in a variety of music genres. The last strategy of this video was the inclusion of her fans at the end of it. Swift fans were sourced via social media and snail mail, and now perform forever with their idol.

Customer Engagement & Multiplatform Media

Anyone who follows Swift knows she loves to engage with her fans, and she did so successfully for the album release in a number of different ways. The first was through Q&A sessions on Skype and Twitter, and the second was by inviting fans, selected from her Instagram followers, to her homes in New York, Los Angeles and Rhode Island, a flat in London and her parent’s home in Nashville. There, she hosted listening parties called “Secret Sessions” where she played the full album and explained in detail about her influences into each song. Afterwards, she allowed them to spread word about her songs via their social media platforms, making them even more of “fan ambassadors” than they were before.

Through her own Instagram account, Swift began leaving clues about her album release as well as lyrics from each song a couple of weeks prior to its debut, hashtagging #TS1989 and #1989lyrics as well as a countdown like “11 HOURS.” Additionally post the release, Swift appeared on morning talk shows, daytime talk shows, “The Voice” in primetime and through TV advertisements with her brand partners discussing her album, performing for a live audience in New York City and more!


With this integrated marketing strategy, it’s no surprise that Swift has not only gained a larger fan base but is a number one selling artist in the world! But these rules and tactics don’t have to only be used by musicians, artists or celebrities, every-day brands can also find great success!

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