brand aligns with identity pop punk style

A tattoo. 
A t-shirt press. 
Skatepark art. 
That famous, hallowed lettering above a music venue.

Their recently released album is getting rave reviews, but it’s what The Wonder Years did in April ahead of the release of their new single “Madelyn” that was a noteworthy conversation piece about brand aligning with identity. The band got creative with some of the most typical of those above “pop punk” tropes to produce a series of videos that got fans hyped about the new song.

A band that’s always been lyric-driven, they took a classically brutal line from the chorus “Madelyn, I love you but we both know how this ends” and showed the lyric being created/printed in a variety of ways via short clips published to their Instagram.

Here we have the final “s” being added with a cool sticky pole thing to the lyric above the Theater of the Living Arts in Philadelphia. I’ve actually always wondered how they do this.

A hardcore fan gets the lyrics tattooed on them. Other videos featuring the lyrics included a t-shirt being pressed and wall art at an urban skatepark.

So, why am I writing about this?

This is an example of a brand, not just a band 😏 understanding their audience. The fact they shot all the videos in their hometown of Philadelphia shows they’re staying true to their roots (authenticity, tick) while the aspects of the tattooed, t-shirt wearing gig goer offer further relatability. The videos also look damn cool for good measure.

This is something that not just artists, but brands can do a hell of a lot more of. So often new releases, and new products are announced via a single post or bland “teasers” that leave built audiences underwhelmed and don’t build hype. Nobody was discovering The Wonder Years here, and they weren’t trying to blast their message to every man and his dog. They were rewarding their niche audience, in this case their Instagram followers, with some cool clips and getting them really hyped. Great content marketing is marketing that ultimately understands your audience.

The band didn’t have to do this, yet they understood the importance of doing so. As a follower, I actively went out of my way to listen to the new single when it was dropped, something I barely do these days. I don’t know if it was their idea, a marketing company’s, or the record label’s. Whoever it was, they “get it.”

This is the sort of value that, for me, strengthens the relationship between brand and audience. Moreover, the brand solidifies itself as part of the audience’s identity.