2016: The Year of Beyoncé

2016: The Year of Beyoncé

A week and a half ago, to Kanye’s rapper’s delight, Beyoncé took home MTV’s Music Video of the Year award.

While an MTV award probably isn’t an accolade Beyoncé gives two iotas about, it is just another notch in the belt of a music superstar who catapulted herself into yet another stratosphere this year.

She is no longer just the Queen Bey, but something else entirely.

Something bolder. Smarter. With much more of substance to say.

This new Bey emerged on February 6 when she dropped the unexpected and now infamous Formation video, the day before the Super Bowl.

And she has been dominating pop culture and digital media ever since. In the past 7 months alone, she has:

  • Revamped the meaning of the word, Slay!
  • Launched the active-wear clothing line, Ivy Park
  • Debuted the Lemonade visual album on HBO, the day before the season premiere of Game of Thrones
  • Held court at sold out stadium concerts during her Formation World Tour, duing which she holds moments of silence in memoriam of victims of police brutality
  • And, most recently, performed an elaborate, 15-minute Lemonade concert at the MTV Video Music Awards—to the surprise and delight of her Beyhive and pretty much everyone in the audience

Here’s a look back at February 6, the day when the Year of Beyoncé commenced… and the strategic digital marketing that ushered in her Formation debut.

Beyoncé’s Formation campaign rollout was one of if not THE BEST strategic marketing campaigns of the year thus far. For it was an awesome blend of offline marketing, digital marketing, mobile marketing and strategic timing.

How so?

The day before the SuperBowl, the most watched televised event of the year, Team Beyoncé dropped a music video out of nowhere.

They posted it on YouTube—which reaches more 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.; and wherein she had 2 million subscribers.

On the YouTube video page, they included links to the TIDAL mobile app, where fans could download the song; and to her website for more info.

They embedded the video on her website’s homepage.

Then they began posting on her Instagram and Facebook pages—which had 68 million followers and 64 million likes, respectively; and to which she had not posted anything for a few weeks.

In the posts, they announced the new song / video and provided links to her website and to TIDAL.

The social posts utilized photos, animated gifs and video clips from the video; and they were posted one after another after another after another…



By days end, EVERYBODY (in the know) was talking about Beyoncé’s new song and video.

Celebrities like Mindy Kaling, John Legend, Margaret Cho, Kendall Jenner and Demi Lovato were tweeting about it.

Corporate brands like Southwest Airlines and Red Lobster were getting in on the hashtag.

Tons of media sites were covering it. And the BeyHive was losing their sh*t.

All of this built huge momentum going into the SuperBowl half-time show the next day, where everyone in the know knew that Beyoncé would be appearing as a guest alongside headliners Coldplay.

But with the song / video drop the day before, everyone was wondering if she would be singing the new song during the SuperBowl.

She did indeed sing and dance to that very song. And her digital team proceeded to post tons of photos from the pre-show rehearsal on social media.

Screenshot of six Instagram photos of Beyonce practicing on the field before the Superbowl

But the kicker is what all of this was strategically driving to, and how Team Beyoncé took full advantage of all of those SuperBowl eyeballs…

Immediately after the SuperBowl half-time show, an ad appeared on television screens across America, announcing that Beyonce would be going on a Formation World Tour and tickets would go on pre-sale on LiveNation.com for her BeyHive fan club members two days later; all others a week later.

That ad was posted to YouTube immediately thereafter.