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Music History Events: Promotions

November 18, 2006 With the aid of a private jet, Jay-Z plays seven 30-minute sets across the US in one day to promote his comeback album, Kingdom Come.

March 26, 1987 Nike begins airing a commercial using the Beatles song "Revolution," marking the first time an original version of a Beatles song is used in an ad.More

September 25, 1981 The Rolling Stones start their US tour with a concert at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, where they play to a crowd of 90,000. The tour is sponsored by musk maker Jovan, establishing a new paradigm for corporate involvement.More

March 26, 1971 The Rolling Stones' lips and tongue logo appears for the first time when it is used on VIP passes for their show at the Marquee Club in London.More

December 15, 1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono launch the "War Is Over" campaign with billboards declaring peace around the world.More

November 2, 2012 Brian Eno's new album LUX is previewed for travelers at Tokyo International Airport, a fitting move for a composer whose 1978 album Ambient 1: Music for Airports was designed for such purpose.

November 6, 2001 In an early effort at online try-before-you-buy, Virgin Records posts 90-second clips of the songs from Mick Jagger's upcoming album Goddess in the Doorway.

November 14, 2000 The Offspring celebrate the release of their album Conspiracy of One by giving $1 million to 14-year-old Ashley Hitchcock, who by downloading their single "Original Prankster" was entered to win. Hitchcock beats out three other finalists in an Offspring trivia contest broadcast on MTV to take the prize. She wins by identifying Noodles as the oldest member of the band.

January 24, 1980 Clever marketing: Pink Floyd advertise their upcoming world tour to promote their album The Wall with a special billboard on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip that is gradually covered up each day with a brick until an entire wall is built over it.

November 18, 1975 Bruce Springsteen begins his first UK tour at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, where he learns that his record company has gone overboard with the hype, distributing posters that say: "At last London is ready for Bruce Springsteen."

May 1, 1975 The Rolling Stones announce their Tour Of The Americas by rolling down 5th Avenue in New York City playing "Brown Sugar" from the back of a flatbed truck.

July 26, 1974 London graffiti artists hired by the Rolling Stones' management spray paint various local sites as promotion for the group's latest single, "It's Only Rock N' Roll."

June 14, 1970 A billboard taking up an entire city block to promote Grand Funk Railroad goes up in New York City's Times Square. It costs Capitol Records about $100,000 but pays off when their Closer To Home album sells over 2 million copies and they sell out Shea Stadium the next summer.

June 6, 1964 An anonymous ad taken out in six American music trade papers states: "In the public interest, watch The Rolling Stones crush The Beatles!"

May 1, 1957 The first issue of 16 Magazine, featuring Elvis Presley on the cover, is published.

November 6, 1954 Elvis Presley, who has been playing a radio concert show called the Louisiana Hayride, records a radio commercial for Southern Maid Doughnuts, who sponsors the show. It was the only commercial he ever recorded and was not false advertising: He really did love those hot donuts.

June 4, 1942 Johnny Mercer's label, Capitol Records, becomes the first record company to give an album to a radio station when he gives one to a Los Angeles DJ. It's a brilliant move, as the station plays the record and promotes it. In coming years, labels will try all sorts of tricks to get their records played on radio.

September 8, 2020 McDonald's introduces the Travis Scott Meal: a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Sprite, and fries with BBQ sauce. It's the first McOffering named after a celebrity since 1992, when the McJordan appeared on the menu.

January 30, 2014 Poison lead singer Bret Michaels introduces his new line of cologne: Roses & Thorns. Because every rose has its thorn.

December 8, 2013 Metallica play Antarctica as part of a promotion sponsored by Coca-Cola Zero. A documentary and audio download of the event are later issued under the title Freeze 'Em All.

November 12, 2010 Katy Perry launches her first fragrance, "Purr."

September 19, 2000 MTV2 previews Radiohead's album Kid A by playing a vinyl copy from start to finish with a camera pointed at the record player.

May 14, 1987 Mötley Crüe hold a listening party for their album Girls, Girls, Girls at a strip club in Hollywood called The Body Shop. They are quite familiar with the venue, which is mentioned in the title track.

June 21, 1965 The Charlatans begin a six-week residency at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City, Nevada. These are the first psychedelic shows ever, and the poster promoting the event (later called "the Seed") is the world's first-ever psychedelic music poster.More

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