HMV backs the Boss

HMV backs the Boss

Bruce Springsteen’s latest album, Magic, hit number one the week of its release last month, on the wings of an unusual promotional partnership between Sony BMG and HMV.

In an effort to secure the top position on the national Nielsen SoundScan charts on Oct. 2, HMV offered a free video and ringtone download of Magic’s first single, ‘Radio Nowhere,’ a limited-edition lyric booklet – and a personal money-back guarantee from HMV Canada president Humphrey Kadaner. As well as cash header cards and window banners in its 117 stores, HMV ran a national print campaign in 15 dailies.

Kadaner is convinced that his promotion contributed to the chart supremacy. ‘HMV generated 38% of all album sales (physical and/or digital) during the week of release – the highest share ever on a Springsteen record,’ he says.

Blaine Schwingenschlegel, manager, custom marketing for Sony BMG Canada, says Kadaner is a huge Boss fan. ‘He is not only offering a full refund, but he’ll send a personal apology letter to anyone who returns it,’ he says. At press time he had yet to write a single letter.
At the Oct. 15 Toronto concert, which Kadaner attended with his wife and two HMV store managers, an appreciative Boss dedicated ‘Incident On 57th Street’ to ‘Humphrey.’