The Swarm

April 28, 2010

Daily Swarm Exclusive: The New Media Onslaught of B.o.B...

Stephen McNearney

B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray has been a long time coming. To build the hype to this much anticipated release, there were many elements that led to the eventual release. Here we outline the methods (that we know about):

First, there are…

The Mixtapes:

Six of them for $free.99. All of these are posted at, perhaps the most utilitarian WordPress install I’ve seen. (click to download):

Only a few hip-hop artists could expect to sell an album without putting out free music. Whether free tracks come in the form of mixtapes, album leaks or both, free exposure is essential to an album’s success, right?

But free material can be so much more than that! With the advent of digital media, progressive artists like the hip-hop/rock blending Bobby Ray Simmons are finding distribution on multiple media, and gaining exposure on innumerable, almost minute channels.

The Website: launched on May 7th of 2009. That’s nearly one full year prior to yesterday’s album release date (April 27th, 2010). All kinds of time to roll out blog posts, SMS modules, mobile feeds, show schedules, syndicated tweets and more in anticipation of the album. Standard right?

Here’s where B.o.B. and his team (trusty sidekick Playboy Tre and managers TJ Chapman and B Rich) take it to the next level:

B.o.B. : The Adventures:

A simple flash game. Nice graphics (shout out to the ATL skyline background). Amusing Concept. Addicting. Interactive. PROMOTIONAL. And I’m feeling the “Nothin’ on You” instrumental too…

B.o.B. – The Adventures of Bobby Ray, a Mini Web Series

Episode 1:

A brief, four part glimpse at days in the life of B.o.B. aka Bobby Ray. On tour, with fans, reacting to the news that “Nothin’ on You” is the #1 single on iTunes, and most importantly, appealing to YOU to buy the album and truly support him as an artist.

Episode 2.

Episode 3.

Episode 4.

Screen shot 2010-04-27 at 1.43.25 PM

Not only do B.o.B. and his people keep their fans up to date with their own, personal accounts, but they put a promotional bot out there too.

Any time you mentioned @bobatl in the past few days, you got one of these in return:

Screen shot 2010-04-27 at 1.48.34 PM

That’s a link to the online store where you can buy the album, followed by a link to your original tweet which included ”@bobatl.”

Not a bad idea right? Which brings me to some final notes on good ideas…

*New Media Strategy:

I don’t know if it’s the marketing team at Grand Hustle or the creative mind of Bobby Ray himself who thought this stuff out, but these are all good ideas:

“Okay. We’re going to have T.I. featured on ‘Bet I’ with Playboy Tre. Let’s put the track out without T.I. first, so to stiff-arm the leak and get people interested in buying the newer version with T.I. on it.”

“Alright. ‘Airplanes (Part II)’ is going to feature an Eminem verse. We’ll put out ‘Airplanes (Part I)’ on the website (before the album is released) and B.o.B. will do it on tour. That will get people excited to hear part 2!”

“Oh shit, the album’s leaking? Well let’s go ahead and drop Airplanes (Part II) on our website. Hopefully the fans will reciprocate the love”:

Screen shot 2010-04-27 at 2.05.11 PM

“Let’s do an appearance on Ellen…get television on our side…We’ll get all the 18–100 year old women involved. They still buy stuff!”:

“Alright, let’s move this video thing to the Internet. We’ll do an entire concert on UStream so all the fans from around the world can tune in and check the show out!”:

PART ONE: skip to ~45 minutes in


“Let’s reward the fans for pre-ordering the album. We’ll do a t-shirt, a poster, instant downloads, videos, and a web chat with B.o.B. himself!”:

Screen shot 2010-04-27 at 2.50.02 PM

“Let’s get Big Boi to do a verse on ‘Nothin’ on You.’ We’ll put this ATLien thing to work! People haven’t heard from Big Boi in a while, and his album keeps getting pushed back! We’ll put this ATLien thing to work and both benefit from it. We’ll let the blogs touch it, then we’ll yank it back and leave people wondering if he’s gonna be on the official re-mix.”

And finally…

“Okay, let’s push the album up. NOBODY‘s doing that these days. Detox is set to drop Neveruary 14th now right? When’s the last time somebody got a release date advance? This is a really good idea right here. Limit the leakage and add some suspense by cutting down the anticipation, a nice surprise for the fans. We’ll have to do this for T.I.‘s album too!”

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