Stones Roses prove PR success can be simple

by Kallan Glynn

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Manchester indie band create PR success with simple technique


Stone Roses copyIT’D be hard to believe that a poster with nothing but a lemon on it could cause so much online and offline excitement that it’d dominate the internet for days and lead to people doing mad things like having lemons tattooed on their body
. That’s a PR Success.

It all started with posters popping up in places all over Manchester, London, Glasgow, Newcastle and Leeds. These posters featured nothing but a lemon.

To the uninitiated this poster would mean nothing. To those who know their Waterfall from their Fools Gold this was a sign. A sign of a third coming.

The posters were of the Stone Roses infamous lemon. This symbol was first used in 1989 this was part of their effort to launch their debut album, The Stone Roses. So what did this mean? People all over the country not just in Manchester were questioning what this meant. Warm up shows? New Album? Both?

Online discussion raged on for days until the grand reveal, The Stone Roses announced a new song, ‘All for One’. In an age of online streaming, dwindling album sales and bands being hit in the pocket – The Stone Roses defied the indifference often placed upon bands in a new media age.

I for one was so excited by this, having already booked concert tickets and being overjoyed at their releasing of a new song that I went and received a permanent celebration of my love for the band, I got a tattoo .

Stone Roses Tattoo

I wasn’t the only one. In fact, huge swathes of the internet focused on sharing of tattoos and other celebrations of the excitement that you could only feel when a band releases their first new song in over 20 years.

Excitement was in every Stone Roses fan’s body. The same happened In November last year. There was the same sort of feeling when the band announced that they would be playing 4 nights at the Etihad in Manchester. This isn’t just a one off, this is an ongoing phenomena. Every single time the band wants to create a buzz, all they need to do is spend a little cash on a guerrilla marketing campaign and speculation drives anticipation and then drives delirious behaviour, the world over. The bands PR team must be buzzing at the fact that they have generated so much hype twice by using the same simple PR technique.

In the age of short attention spans, it’s practically impossible to capture the publics attention for any length of time. You see megastars like Kanye West, allegedly faking ‘Twitter meltdowns’ You see Taylor Swift pulling her music from the biggest streaming service on the internet, to drive sales. You even have legendary groups like the Wu Tang Clan(check this) auctioning off unique albums to the highest bidder. That didn’t go down too well. See here.

So, the fact that a band from the 80’s can still hold such dominance with the simplest of PR techniques shows that this timeless way of engaging an audience still holds the key to your business desires.

What makes this so effective?

The reason it’s so effective and it’s worked so well is because it’s simple.

Everyone I knew wouldn’t stop talking about what it could potentially be. Even the people who don’t like the band. I was over the moon with the announcement in November that I even cancelled a holiday as it clashed with the gig, I wasn’t missing my favourite band! Especially not when I’d had their symbol tattooed on me.

Thanks to the lemon appearing on the first album that they released that has become a symbol of the band. The lemon itself is a reference to the line “citrus-sucking sunshine” in ‘Bye Bye Badman’, which in turn was inspired by the time Ian Brown (a member of the band) met a Frenchman who’d been part of the 1968 Paris student uprisings. He told them how the protesters had bitten down on lemons to overcome the effects of teargas.

More proof of the success of this technique is that companies were jumping on the bandwagon by using the image to sell their products.

It’s not only 80’s bands that can use this technique. There are other brands that have logos or mascots that are so easily recognisable.

The PG Tips monkey was sent down the Thames in London. People knew what it was and what product it was advertising.

Like the lemon posters it wasn’t too complicated it was very simple and basic.pg tips

How can my business benefit from a simple PR message?

We here at Holyrood PR specialise in achieving award winning objective-lead PR campaigns that recognise and fulfil our client’s goals. We helped Commsworld and CityFibre announce their Edinburgh Gigabit City project last year. This was all achieved through a simple strategy that has been honed to perfection by our expert team of PR professionals. This is what we do, much in the same way that Brown sings and Squire plays guitar.

Find out how to harness the power of PR for your business, without having to pen award winning chart hits. Contact us now:

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