Wonka-Style ‘Purple Ticket’ Pushes Prince Album Sales

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Universal Records is launching a Willy Wonka-style promotion to build buzz around Prince’s newest album 3121.

To promote the artist’s latest CD, Universal will hide 14 purple tickets in 3121 CDsseven in the U.S. and seven internationallydue out March 21. Fans who find a purple ticket can attend a private performance at Prince’s Los Angeles house, dubbed An Evening With Prince.

In addition, consumers can enter to win seven digital tickets to the exclusive performance through Apple’s iTunes online music store. Fans who download the two-track e-single Black Sweat from iTunes, which contains Black Sweat by Prince and Beautiful Loved and Blessed by Tamar, will be entered into the An Evening With Prince sweepstakes. The sweepstakes is open to consumers 18 and older and runs through March 21. Online materials support. West Coast Marketing, Calabasas, CA handles.

Universal’s Purple Ticket campaign mimics the fictitious actions of Willy Wonka in the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where children found golden tickets in chocolate bars to win a tour of a chocolate factory. Universal Records is a division of Universal Music Group.

“For core Prince fans, this is a great way to get closer to Prince…and other fans,” Dorothy Hui director new media, universal Motown Records Group, said. “[This is] something that is once in a lifetime.”

In total, Universal Records will give away 21 tickets to winners and a guest for an exclusive Prince performance. The company has designated groups of seven winners to coincide with the name of Prince’s album 3121 (add up the numbers and you get seven), Bill Richards senior director of marketing, Universal Records, said yesterday.

“It’s phenomenal,” Richards said. “[Fans] are going to be at Prince’s house, the Rock N’ Roll Hall of famer. I’m not sure how much better it can get.”

Stickers on the CD and word of mouth will promote the campaign, Richards said. Prince’s last CD, Musicology, debuted in 2004. Universal ran a similar campaign using the Golden Ticket concept where one winner got a personal concert from Godsmack, Richards said.


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