Famous musicians of the 1980s and 1990s are often credited with inspiring many modern stars. Their styles, stage presence and musical innovations can still be seen on stage and heard on the radio. Prince, a famous rock and funk singer, transformed the music scene and paved the way for many other game-changing artists.
Yet even the most talented and creative celebrities need a little inspiration every now and then. With his love of extravagant clothes and supernatural sounds, it’s no surprise that Prince turned to the whimsical world of Willy Wonka when marketing his 3121 album.
Prince was an internationally beloved musician
Prince was born into a musical family. Her mother, Mattie Shaw, was a jazz singer. She performed alongside her father, John Nelson, in a group called Prince Rogers Band. According to Mental Floss, it was this musical team that inspired the young boy’s name. When he started to immerse himself in his own music, he certainly lived up to his parents’ legacy. Even if he couldn’t know it, he would soon inspire his own future generations of children.
As Biography recounts, Prince worked his way up to worldwide acclaim through a series of bands. He started his first band in high school and in 1978 was signed by Warner Bros. Records. Six years later, The Revolution comes out Purple rain – an iconic album that would inspire the Oscar-winning film of the same name.
Even if Purple rain remains one of Prince’s most recognizable works, it was far from its prime. The following years saw a series of solo efforts and successful collaborations that consistently keep the icon in the top charts on Billboard. Although he slowed down in the early 2000s, a Grammy performance with Beyoncé and the chance to perform at the 2007 Superbowl ignited his fire. 3121 came out in 2006 with a smart marketing campaign to build enthusiasm.
His “purple ticket” raffle was inspired by Willy Wonka
According to Mental Floss, Universal cleared the ticket to sell many albums in 2006. Specifically, they turned to mauve banknotes, hiding fourteen interior copies of Prince’s 3121 album. Seven lucky consumers from the United States and seven from overseas who found the tickets would be invited to Prince’s home in Los Angeles for a personal performance.
Those who wanted to purchase the album digitally could enter a raffle for seven additional tickets through iTunes. As ChiefMarketer explains, the company decided to go with groups of “seven” because that’s the number you get when you add 3 + 1 + 2 + 1.
Of course, that wasn’t the only inspiration for the marketing plan. The concept of the ticket is very similar to the plot of Roald Dahl Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and subsequent film adaptations. In this story, children who find a golden ticket inside a chocolate bar win an exclusive tour of the mysterious chocolate factory.
Much of Prince’s life has focused on giving back to others
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has an unmistakably charitable theme, with poor Charlie Bucket winning the opportunity to explore the factory with his grandfather. It’s only fitting that this concept resonates with Prince and his team, as a big part of the star’s career has been about giving back to fans and the general population.
While some of Prince’s philanthropic efforts were well known before his death in 2016, others have been kept more under wraps. One of Prince’s most admirable traits is that he did not seek recognition for his good deeds. Instead, he silently donated huge sums of money to nonprofits that empower young people. He also donated $ 12,000 to prevent the closure of a local library.
Obviously, the legacy of the Prince of Funk lives on through his music and his generous actions.
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