Thursday, June 18, 2009

Does a free download do it for you?


As advertisers seek new wow factors to attract their target audiences, one idea that has emerged and seems to be gaining momentum is free music downloads. Given that 50% of us now pay for our music downloads the timing may be right.

On Friday, Toblerone announced the offer of a free exclusive track from Alesha Dixon with purchase. The UK promotion, which is sponsored by Kraft, also features a contest to win VIP tickets to a concert and meeting with Alesha, signed merchandise and free candy bars. (Paine, 2009)

Would this motivate you? Does the exclusivity matter when anybody can buy a candy bar?

Do you know who she is? Given the ever increasing fragmentation of the music industry is it possible to find an artist who would have mass appeal?

Paine, A. (2009, June 12). Alesha Dixon Fronts Toblerone Campaign. Retrived, June 15, 2009 from


  1. Offering free music downloads and the slight possibility of winning tickets to a concert would not motivate me to buy anything for a few reasons. A) I am one of those people who never thinks I will win any contest, I have never played the lottery and I typically do not enter random contests. B) If I was interested in Alesha Dixon's music (which I am not because I have never heard of her before), I would probably still not be motivated to buy the Tolberone because I know I would probably end up loosing or throwing away the wrapper before it ever got very close to my computer in order to download the music. Although, I do think these offers can work on children and tweens because they are often so consumed by their favorite music stars and are usually die hard fans. ( I know this because I watched the Jonas Brothers preform on the Today show this morning and the amount of screaming young girls was endless.

  2. In the case of Toblerone I don't think that it would be rewarding. A person wouldn't buy a chocolate just because they would get a free download, especially if they don't know the artist. I haven't heard of Alesha Dixon so this is a good way to establish her name but not necessarily increase the sale of Toblerone.

    I received an email from Urban Outfitters with 23 songs to download for free. I probably enjoy 20 of them. By taking into account the target audience Urban was probably able to choose songs that appeal to that demographic. I know Starbucks used to give away a free song (which I also downloaded) and those were also good*.

    As we discussed in class advertising is meant to stimulate sales and increase profits. I don't see how giving songs away will increase profits considering that these are typically up and coming artists. I personally don't buy a product or service just for a free download.

    *Maybe it's because I enjoy all kinds of music.

  3. I don’t know Alesha Dixon (well I didn’t before reading the blog and looking her up) and while I remember eating Toblerone as a kid from the mini bars in hotel rooms and enjoying it, I would not buy the brand of chocolate today. Yes, I am one of those fair trade, organic chocolate buyers. So, once again, I am not the target audience for this brand or promotion and no free download, VIP tickets to a concert, meeting with Alesha, signed merchandise, and free candy bars would inspire me to buy Toblerone or enter the contest.

    In response to the question: Does the exclusivity matter when anybody can buy a candy bar? (and I hope I am understanding the question correctly), I don’t think the exclusivity is being represented by the free candy bars, but by the VIP tickets, meeting with Alesha, and signed merchandise. It makes sense that Toblerone is going to throw in some of its product for the winnings. Who knows where those bars will end up. The winner could pass some onto their friends, family or coworkers and bam…a new Toblerone customer could emerge.

    As for free downloads, I though it was great idea when Starbucks started to release a free download every Tuesday. I got so excited. I would take a card when I was in the store and I compiled about ten free downloads of musicians that I didn’t know. But time passed on and while I still have those cards on my desk, I never followed through and actually downloaded the music. I don’t download music. I always think I will, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I am not the most current person with technology. Sometimes my life seams simpler without it. My cousins gave me an IPod when I graduated from college, I never used it. I lent it to my boyfriend. When we broke up, I asked for it back. I uploaded four albums onto it. Then my new boyfriend bought me an IPod mini and uploaded his music onto it form me. I used that for a while (we shared some music taste), but then when we broke up and I put it in a box where it remains. I still have all my cds which I have been wanting to upload onto my computer and then onto my IPod. I was thinking I could sell the Cds. (Will anybody buy Cds these days?)

    Sometimes I’ll listen to music on YouTube.

    The point of the last paragraph is I don’t download music, yet, but if I did and if I was a fan of Alesha Dixon or Toblerone I’d probably enter the contest. That’s a lot of ifs for me, but I’d be willing to believe that there are enough people to fall into one of those categories, if not overlap, that could make this promotion successful for Toblerone and Alesha Dixon.

    I’ve learned not use my thoughts and behaviors as representative of the “target audience” when I’m clearly not.

    And to the last question:

    Given the ever increasing fragmentation of the music industry is it possible to find an artist who would have mass appeal?

    I say no.


  4. I'm personally a bit torn. On one hand, I think it think it cheapens the music a bit, but then again so has file-sharinig, although I think some of file-sharing was backlash to bloated pricing of music previously. On the other hand, because there is a paradigm shift in the music industry, I think artists are going to have to continually explore new ways to market themselves.

    The campaign does not particularly motivate me to buy the candy but it did make me go check out her music. So maybe it was somewhat effective.

    Lastly, I'm starting to feel like mass appeal is a thing of the post.

  5. I think this kind of promotion can works if the celebritie is completely the face`s brand, In the case of Toblerone I dont think Alesha Dixon is the perfect one to represent the brand. I didnt know her before I read the blog. There is a lot of artists that are really known and they do have a mass appel for example: Madona. I think you have to focus on your target and choose an artist who are the brands face ou someone who has a big power as an artist like the example I did before
    At the Toblerone`s case i dont believe Alesha Dixon will encrease the sales.

    Paula Trombini

  6. Personally, the campaign wouldn't work for me. First, because I don't know the artist. Second, because I wouldn't buy a product for a free song. Third, I would never enter in a contest to meet a famous artist. Either way, I would never be a potencial target for candy bars as I don't enjoy candy very much (except for snickers, which I might buy twice a year).

    Anyway, if were to objectively judge the efficacy of the campaign, being Toblerone a mass product, I don't think exclusivity would work. It is well concieved, but just for a narrow target (Alesha Dixon's fans), not for a broad one.

    And answering the question if it would be possible to find an artist with a mass appeal nowadays, I don't think so....

    See you later!


  7. I also don't feel the music download will increase Toblerone's sales. Music is a very independent activity for most people with the exception of working out. In my own experience, the best motivation for me to buy a song is if I hear it when I'm out at night, or at the gym, or in a store, etc... and if I like the song, I’m almost always interested enough to buy it. However picking an artist and giving away a free download as an attempt to increase Toblerone sales seems conflicted to me. A chocolate craving is much more powerful in driving me to buy a candy bar then a song (especially if I’m unfamiliar with the artist), and a chocolate craving can come by just showing me the product. In my view, these were advertising dollars that could have been spent more productively.

    -Megan Murray

  8. I found this blog quite interesting and concur with previous comments.

    I enjoy toblerone and I download music (free from applemac Itunes). However, I don't feel compelled to act upon this offer - there are a couple of reasons: 1) I don't know Alesha Dixon 2) I don't associate toblerone with music; 3) I must pay to receive the download that I currently receive for free.

    The campaign is relying on alignment of the brands - Toblerone (fun and energetic) and the artist (who I assume is young and represents the brand). The "exclusivity offer" may be compelling enough for existing fans - who presumably are in the segment where they see this offer as an inexpensive way of winning VIP tickets. (Paying for 20 toblerones is still cheaper than paying for 1 ticket to her concert?) However as has been stated already, if people are not familiar with the artist, generating new toblerone sales will be very difficult.

    I don't think it is possible to have a mass appeal artist. In this world, with so much information available on the internet, we have been spoilt with choice. As music genres have expanded, so to has our ability to switch our music preferences. Some artists try to reinvent themselves to stay current (eg Madonna), but with varying degrees of success. There are other artists who have been very successful and who now pursue global initiatives (eg U2), which gives them universal appeal with a new audience. Which leads me to the question would I buy a toblerone to get a download and VIP ticketsof their latest song? Probably not - however, would I buy toblerone knowing that U2 has endorsed a global initiative program with toblerone where a % of their sales goes to environmental issues - the answer would probably be yes.