This is the year when the Swedish super-group ABBA makes an all-out effort to break big in the U.S. and Japanese markets. In the U.S., up to $1 million will be spent to promote the act as “the largest selling group in the history of recorded music.”
This was revealed by group manager Stig Anderson, president of Polar Music International, upon his return from a lengthy business trip to the U.S.
Though ABBA has had a number one, Dancing Queen, and several Top 20 hits in the U.S., the group has by no means done as well there as in other territories. Now is the time for the big promotional push, though the box-office success ABBA-The Movie will probably not be released there until the fall.
In New York and Los Angeles, Anderson had meetings with Jerry Greenberg, president of Atlantic, and Ivan Mogull, who publishes ABBA songs in the U.S., covering future marketing efforts.
“We were offered a guest spot on the Olivia Newton-John TV special, being taped in Los Angeles and telecast coast-to-coast by ABC on 24th of May, 1978, and that will be a very important part of the drive,” says Anderson.
Atlantic is to declare May, 1978, “ABBA Month,” which involves promotional activities with in-store displays. These areas are being sponsored by Polar and Atlantic, and handled by the Scotti Brothers agency in Los Angeles. The promotion is to be on The Album and the new single Take A Chance On Me, and includes TV advertising covering the whole country.
Leif Garrett, another Atlantic artist handled by the Scotti Brothers, is to go on an extensive radio promotion tour and will also talk about ABBA and play the group’s records.
Anderson says: “There will also be a giant Sunset Boulevard billboard and, with other things, the drive should really establish us in the U.S. market. We estimate the campaign to be costing $500,000 to $1 million.”
The ABBA and Olivia Newton-John campaign continues later this year when the girl singer visits Europe and includes Scandinavia for concerts. ABBA will act as hosts for the visit and present her at press conferences. Polar will also distribute all of Olivia’s records in Sweden. Transcribed for ABBA World
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