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

Jon Bon Jovi

In the weeks leading up to Bon Jovi’s induction 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 making it a record-setting CD.

This value-added promotion shot the album to #1 on the Billboard album charts with 120,000 sales. It was 15 months since it debuted at #1 (with a similar ticket bundling promotion). This set 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 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

Bon Jovi - This House Is Not For Sale Record-Setting CD

Bundling a band’s new CD with a ticket purchase is 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, it exposes a lot more fans 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 throw in the crappy tchotchkes you have lying around. Things like gift cards with purchase offer value to your customers, but it doesn’t 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 extra 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. So, 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 extra 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. Bon Jovi returning to the top of the Billboard charts gave them publicity they wouldn’t have gotten without the offer. Seeing a CD hit #1 (or becoming a record-setting CD) might persuade people on the fence about buying the CD. Even the news of its record-setting CD drop the following week can serve as a reminder to fans to go buy the CD.

Also, the influx of sales offers more opportunities for fans to comment on the CD on social media to spur more sales. Marketers need to include these promotional tools to help further the message. Then, 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, but it also 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 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.

Bon Jovi is diving heavily into the new CD on this tour. So, getting fans familiar with the new music is going to affect how much they enjoy the concert. This is also the first CD and tour without guitarist Richie Sambora, so there may be fans who are apprehensive of the experience.

As 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, fans will feel like they’re getting more for their money. They won’t all result in a record-setting CD, but it will boost exposure.

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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Image Source: Earl McGehee via Flickr

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