EDITORIAL: Justin Timberlake Shows Off His Marketing Genius In One 3.5 Hour Period

jt grammys

Marketing is more important to the success of an artist or album now than ever before, and the sad truth is that the vast majority of industry people have no real clue what actually works when it comes to reaching music fans. Everyone has their tricks and routines, sure, but only a select few have ever been able to truly harness their full marketing potential. So for all of us who need a lesson, Thomas Nasiff and pop sensation Justin Timberlake are here to help.

Last night, Thomas crafted an article around Timberlake’s gigantic GRAMMY night marketing push, and we thought it was so good it needed to appear on UTG. Click below and enjoy.

This post originally appeared on Thomas’ personal blog.

A lot of people won shit tonight at the hashtag-grammys (aha) and none of them were Justin Timberlake. But JT still managed to make himself the biggest story of the night for a few reasons.

First off, his performances were incredible. He looked good (I guess he always looks good) during the black-and-white broadcast of “Suit and Tie,” which was an incredible touch. It’s all about creating an image, and that broadcast played right into what he’s going for on this album. He also played a new song called “Pusher Lover Girl,” which in my opinion sounded way better than the first single, but that’s not the point.

Almost immediately after his performances on stage, Timberlake kick-started his new stint as the creative director for Bud Light Platinum’s brand. It was announced earlier in the week that he was taking this role, and the first commercial under his reign starred himself and one full minute of “Suit and Tie.” It was such a good ad that it barely felt like a beer commercial – something that most everyone was happy about considering Bud Light’s awful commercials featuring Pitbull.

The ad is also in black and white! Well played again there. The product placement is obvious – it is still a commercial, after all – but the ad is sleek and subtle for the most part. It gets the point across, but disregarding the beer: We see JT here looking more or less exactly how he looked during his live performance of the track and we get the chorus stuck in our heads again. Everyone already knows who JT is, but this was basically a double-shot of “Suit and Tie” in an incredibly small timeframe during a huge broadcast. Who knows how much Timberlake is getting paid for this new gig, but that level of exposure is well worth his efforts.

As if that weren’t enough, he debuted a new song immediately after the broadcast of the Grammys ended, when he was already on everyone’s mind. I was expecting it to be “Pusher Lover Girl,” but instead it was “Mirrors,” a track that he didn’t even perform live when he played in New Orleans before the Super Bowl. No one had heard this one yet.

It’s an awesome song. I like it better than “Suit and Tie,” which makes me excited because now I’ve heard three songs from the record and they’ve each been better than the last.

I think Timberlake’s actions tonight absolutely crushed his original announcements about his return to music. He did two things originally that I don’t like at all: He announced an announcement and he used a countdown. As I wrote in my blog about Fall Out Boy’s announcement last week, I’m a huge fan of when an artist provides a full-on assault of news all at once. Today wasn’t a news day for Timberlake, it was a media and image day, and he absolutely owned it. Performance, advertisement, and a new song. This guy is a marketing genius and he proved it with flair tonight.

Thomas Nassiff is an AbsolutePunk.net staff writer and the label manager of Paper + Plastick Records. He can be found on Twitter and via his personal blog

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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