He may not have clinched the 'Best Rap Album' trophy at the Grammy's, but Jack Harlow's 2022 represented a pretty amazing run -going from underdog to bonafide superstar in the process. Here's a summary of some of the strategies that helped the Louisville, Kentucky-native achieved that:
Like the outcome of any great collab... this link-up worked amazingly for both parties involved. Jack partnering with Lil Nas X on "Industry Baby" proved a masterstroke, becoming the most streamed song of 2022 according to Luminate Data. It has since been certified 6 times platinum in the US. Jack also tapped into other artists fan bases, doing songs with Drake, Lil Wayne and Pharrell on his sophomore album Come Home the Kids Miss You.
Great sampling taps into the nostalgia of a previous released track but offers just enough freshness to appeal to 'newer' audience's ears. Jack's take on Fergie and Ludacris' "Glamorous" had all the ingredients of an engaging flip and got the approval of artist/producer will.i.am himself.
Jack's 13-second long tease of "First Class" translated into 50 000 videos using the snippet in the first week - all before the song's release. The combination of a recognisable melody, caption-worthy lines and anticpation-building would propel the track into the stratosphere.
While his strong social media presence was central to catapulting him to greater heights, Jack made sure to tap into traditional media, broadening his appeal by appearing on the covers of Teenage Vogue, Wonderland Magazine and Rolling Stone.
Brand Endorsements & Partnerships
Strategic associations with established brands help musicians from an image and sponsorship perspective while keeping them top of mind in the public eye. Jack joined forces with New Balance, designing 550s that bared his album title on the heel. He also partnered with KFC for the exclusive 'Jack Harlow Meal' with limited edition packaging. "I'm excited to align myself with something that started in Kentucky, but resonates all over the globe," he shared at the time. "I grew up going to the restaurant with my family, here are a few of the menu items I've been enjoying since I was a child."
Increasing the impact of his own brand exponentially, Harlow made an appearance as a musical act and host on the Halloween edition of Saturday Night Live. Earlier in the year it was also announced that he would make his acting debut in the remake of the 'White Men Can't Jump' movie. Entering the worlds of TV and film is a great way for Jack to increase his popularity and explore his talents whilst sticking to the strategy of engaging with different platforms and mediums.