AC DC Album cover

A Messaging Lesson from Rock Legend AC DC

In Marketing by Gregg BanseLeave a Comment

Say what you will about my choice of music but I happen to like some of AC DC’s music. I think their best song is Night Prowler – rather obscure unless you know AC DC. There was some controversy on the origin and topic of this song but that aside, the music and the way the lyrics flow with the music is masterful. It’s a nice bluesy rock song with a lot of emphasis on the beat – which appeals to the target audience.

As a marketer I look for stuff that resonates with the target audience. Sometimes we can go for ‘over the top’ and get away with it but most of the time we have to temper the message so it’s not so. But AC DC is known for their hard hitting music, provocative and satanic suggestive lyrics. And that’s their brilliance. Their target audience is the rebellious teenager that wants to escape mummy’s and daddy’s parental control. Messaging that stomps on and embraces some of the icons that parents hold dear is a way to express dissatisfaction with a teenager’s authority enforcers. Like it or not, that’s what rock & roll means to millions of teens.

The lesson here is the messaging. It’s so appropriate for the audience: audible (the music), visual (brand reinforcement via the album cover) and visceral (the brand). The blues and rock blend may be a new experience for the teenager. It may be an introduction to a something slightly different but embraced by the familiar sound. And there’s the lesson for us. Create messaging that’s slightly beyond the familiar, a slight stretch for our audience but wrapped in the familiar. Just enough stretch to the familiar as to catch their attention.

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