Columbia Records – Roger Waters album launch

Case study - Objective: Prompt action


Columbia Records and the7stars ran a disruptive newsbrand campaign that hijacked political news stories with lyrics from Roger Waters’ songs, to promote his latest album.

Having begun his musical career in Pink Floyd, Roger Waters is no stranger to standing up to the establishment. So when his latest album dropped on 8 June, the day after Theresa May’s snap election, the7stars hijacked the day’s political news, dynamically serving tailored controversial lyrics from the album against relevant content.

The aim was to engage 40+ men who grew up with Pink Floyd, while also positioning Waters as a modern and relevant artist. By using the7stars’ bespoke consumer tracker the QT, the team knew that in a context of fake news and filter bubbles, Waters’ audience would best engage with disruptive messaging in newsbrands they trust. They also knew that his audience were more likely to follow left-wing news titles, like the Guardian and The New York Times.

Focusing on four key topics – the UK election, US politics, world news and the environment – the campaign included unique creatives that ran against contextual editorial. With a bespoke Columbia Records supply marketplace across UK publishers, the campaign secured high impact display and native placements at scale during the election build up, day of voting and post-election buzz. The Guardian’s Pulse tool also enabled for ads to be placed against surging content.

Key findings

  • The campaign was successful with engagement results exceeding the industry benchmark across all of the content categories
  • Media performance translated into chart success with Waters returning at number three

The team were adept in translating the vision for this campaign into a structured execution plan, understanding perfectly how to use the themes available to deliver an engaging message and experience to our target audience, in an opportune fashion.

Paula Hanley, head of digital, Columbia Records