Orbell Communications

Communicating Your Message

Frankie say…Marketing!

Posted by jorbell on October 12, 2009

The 1980s pop group, Frankie goes to Hollywood, are back in the public eye with a remix of their classic track, Relax, and a new Best of collection called Frankie Say Greatest.

The marketing for this has been interesting. It has come on the back of the Virgin TV advert and commemorates the 25th anniversary of the bands debut album, Welcome to the Pleasuredome. Singer Holly Johnson’s solo albums are now all available to download online for the first time with physical CD reissues planned for next month I understand.

A few weeks ago there was a teaser campaign with Frankie Say Coming posters across London and last month the Frankie Say T-Shirt was the focus of 25 years of British fashion design. Not only that, CD promos of 11 remixes of Relax have been circulating and unsurprisingly these tracks can now be found on the net. This was always likely but is it all a ploy by generate interest? If that was the case it has certainly worked.

Social networking has also played a part in the success of this campaign with a multitude of postings on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook with Holly himself even getting in on the act. The producers of the new video – which hints at that Virgin ad that sparked all this new interest – invited people to appear by publicising auditions on a variety of media.

Frankie fans, this is your golden opportunity to be in Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s brand new video.


The new ‘Relax’ video shoot is taking place next Monday afternoon in London, and we’re offering one of you (plus friend) the chance to be in it.

It’s a very high profile music video for Universal Records and is going to be shown on all major music television networks, so it’s a great opportunity to be a star!

We are looking for 100 extras to party on the magnificent Kensington Roof Gardens , the music video will be fun, bright and sexy dance based video incorporating a great choreographed routine, a hot pilot dj, and some scorching air hottest podium dancers! A giant martini glass takes centre stage and the rocking club reaches fever pitch as the extras will be having fun, dancing at Kensington High street!

So if you want to have some fun and get a really good exposure please apply now!

*Please note!*

Entrants must be aged 18 and over
Entrants must be able to attend on the stated date; October 5th from mid afternoon through to the evening
Travel expenses will not be reimbursed for winners travel to and from Central London
There is no guarantee that the footage filmed will be used in the final cut
The competition closes at 12pm Friday 2nd October

Will all this lead to a big hit? Probably, especially as Holly himself has appeared in the new video for the song.

Welcome to the Pleasuredome sleeve – an 80s icon?

Following my visit to the Art of ZTT exhibition at the Art Vinyl Gallery in London a while back, I got thinking about the Welcome to the Pleasuredome album cover. It always surprised me that it never gets listed as a classic sleeve when it has such strong visual imagery and identity. Personally I love it but maybe I’m just past being objective about the design.

Everything about that album was overblown and it stretches itself to the very limit. I think the very reason that it doesn’t appear as ‘a classic’ is because it was TRYING to be a classic. You simply cannot force creativity in that way.

This by no means diminishes the power of the imagery produced by the artist, Lo Cole, who was then barely out of art school. What a gig to get so early in your career. To this day this album is still in my Top Five packaged albums of all time.

Iconic images whether art, sculpture or photographs are of the moment and just capture the essence of the time they are in. This applies to other objects too such as furniture or even in changes in the language. “Loadsamoney!”

Welcome to the Pleasuredome takes references from many periods of art and sleeve design and it’s purpose was to shock and I think perhaps that this agenda and the non-specific period of imagery means it’s not rated as highly as it could be. The inside of the gatefold and the censored ‘tongue’ imagery on the reverse just played to the tabloid view of the band at that time.

I’m not saying it’s not good or it’s not of its time but that it isn’t the artistic icon it set out to be. However, the band and the label already have an icon to their name with the ‘Frankie Say…’ T-Shirt so that is achievement enough. Unlike the album I am pretty sure that ZTT were just producing a striking design, albeit ripped off from Katherine Hamnett, that would sell and not think anything of its longevity.

Back on the sleeve design here is some original artwork which is similar, but not the same, as that used on the inside of the gatefold sleeve. An image that was likely to cause some embarrassment for a teenager if seen by a parent back in 1984!

To view further images of the album including inner sleeves and label designs please visit the excellent Zang Tumb Tuum And All That fan site. “Thanks Bob!”


2 Responses to “Frankie say…Marketing!”

  1. […] Continued here: Frankie say…Marketing! […]

  2. […] few weeks ago I added my first Frankie Say…Marketing! blog post on the methods being used to promote this set and made a few predictions on how well it […]

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