Just this past Saturday, HBO launched The Searcher, a new documentary about the King. As a die-hard Elvis fan, I just had to watch. And as a communicator, I picked up on a vintage marketing technique that’s definitely ready for a comeback: Absence.
While it is unthinkable in today’s culture to think of a rock star of Elvis’ fame to go into the army in the height of his career, that’s precisely what Elvis did. To be fair, he was drafted, but he went not as an entertainer, but a soldier.
During his client’s deployment, Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker needed to keep the brand alive. He had Elvis record a few songs but held back on releasing more than the occasional gem. He teased the public, giving them just enough Elvis to ensure that absence would make their hearts grow fonder. In effect, Colonel Parker created scarcity. This is something you can do for your brand.
From Adele (the one who can actually sing) to Sean Combes (with whom I will discussing brand strategy next week for Forbes), music’s biggest stars have long understood the power of silence: it makes us want them more.
How do you apply that to your brand? Strategically reduce the amount of content you are generating. People may actually start to miss you and your point of view – and when you speak up, they’ll listen.
And now, in honor of Elvis’ new HBO documentary series The Searcher, I’d like to treat one or more of my followers to a weekend in Las Vegas. All you have to do is send my agency a referral.
Odds are you know someone who could use a good Real-Time Marketing and PR firm. If we sign, you can slip on your blue suede shoes and get ready to rock. We’ll book you a room and a round trip ticket.
By Adele Cehrs