Monday, April 9, 2018

What Marketers Can Learn from Bon Jovi's Record Setting CD with Ticket Offer

Bon Jovi

In the weeks leading up to Bon Jovi being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they continue to make news. They announced a spring set of concert dates and a re-released their latest CD, This House Is Not for Sale with two new songs. Concert ticket purchases included a code for a free CD or download of the album.

This value-added promotion (a popular trend by artists since 2004) shot the album to #1 on the Billboard album charts with 120,000 sales. This was 15 months since it originally debuted at #1 (with a similar ticket bundling promotion)…setting a record for the longest gap between stints at #1. The following week, Bon Jovi set another record as the CD plummeted to #168 becoming the biggest drop in chart history with only 5000 sales. Who did they beat for this dubious honor? Themselves. They set the record for the biggest drop after their first chart-topping week as well.

Even with the slide in sales the second week of both of these promotions, marketers can learn some things from the bands' approach to this bundled offer. Value-added offers or bundling can be very effective promotions for companies. In the case of Bon Jovi and other bands, there are several aspects that make their offers especially appealing.

Win-Win Offer

Bundling a band’s new CD with a ticket purchase is truly beneficial for both the fan and the band. A band like Bon Jovi is going to sell the concert tickets either way. What most rock bands struggle with these days is CD sales (or digital download purchases). When offered as part of the purchase, a lot more fans are exposed to the new music.

Marketers looking to create their own value-added offer need to make sure they’re offering something that buyers will value AND can help drive the company’s business goals. Don’t just throw in the crappy tchotchkes you have lying around. Things like gift cards with purchase offer value to your customers, but it doesn’t necessarily bring more value to you.

Wording of the Offer

How you word the offer is important to how customers may perceive the value of the additional item. In the case of Bon Jovi, the CD is “included” in the price of the ticket. Stay away from wording like “free with purchase.” Either way, they’re paying the same price, but consumers tend to value something they know they’re paying for more than a free item. Therefore, they’re more likely to redeem the offer for the CD (and listen to it) because, in their mind, they already paid for it.

Words like “bundle,” “package” or “value-added” imply that part of the cost is going to the additional item even if there is no option to pay a lower price without the CD.

Spreading the Word

Third party verifications or endorsements are very effective tools for selling. In this case, Bon Jovi returning to the top of the Billboard charts gave them additional publicity they wouldn’t have gotten without the offer. People that are on the fence about buying the CD might be persuaded when seeing that it hit #1. Even the news of its record-setting drop the following week can serve as a reminder to fans to go purchase the CD.

In addition, the influx of sales offers more opportunity for fans to comment on the CD on social media and other platforms that can spur additional sales. Marketers need to include these promotional tools to help further the message and encourage their customers to engage with them on social media. Ask your customers what they think of your value-added item. Help spur conversations that extend the reach of the offer.


Not only does offering the CD help spur sales, it helps fans experience the new music. The longstanding joke with rock concerts is that playing the new song(s) is a cue for fans to head to the beer line or go to the bathroom. If bands can get the CD to fans to listen to before the concert, they might stick around when they play the new songs.

Especially in the case of Bon Jovi, who are diving heavily into the new CD on this tour, getting fans familiar with the new music is going to directly affect how much they enjoy the concert. This is also the first CD and full tour without guitarist Richie Sambora, so there may be fans who are apprehensive about what they might be getting with both the concert and CD.

Overall, as the big concert ticket prices continue to be in the $150 range, adding a CD to the purchase offers more value to fans. Especially if it’s a CD they would buy anyway, and if it’s good (if you want my thoughts on Bon Jovi’s This House Is Not for Sale, read my review for Decibel Geek), fans will feel like they’re getting more for their money.

What are your thoughts on value-added offers…whether it’s for concert and CD or any purchase? What are some other win-win examples that you’ve seen? Share it in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading. If you enjoy this post, please share it on social media.


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