Content warning: videos may be disturbing for some viewers. Viewer discretion advised.
Months after claiming to retire from the music industry, and leaving his debut album unreleased, Oliver Tree took to social media to throw his fans into a whirlwind of surprises. Many were suspicious when the announcement was made that Oliver was quitting the music industry; it would not be the first time the performer has tricked his audience. As theories arose, he confirmed yesterday that he was not quite finished yet.
After deleting all of his posts on Instagram, on Monday night, Oliver’s profile went live.
Featuring him hooded and tied up, Oliver cried out for his fans for help, claiming someone hacked his account. His “captor” posted on the account:
Oliver is tied up at the moment, to let me explain how this is going to work. I hacked into his email and found the official cover art for his debut album, Ugly is Beautiful, so here it is. I also found the release date, but if you want that, I’m going to need something from you: 100,000 comments and I’ll give you the release date tonight.
The bio of his Instagram changed to a phone number, the hotline for the album. Curiosity burning, I dialed the number. An automated message played detailing that the release date information for the upcoming album was not available, then the line hung up.
Within fifteen minutes, 100,000 comments were made on the post, and the number required for the release date to be revealed jumped to 250,000 instantly. Seeing this as typical of Oliver Tree, his fans continued to pursue the goal. And within the hour, they did.
And not only did the caption change again on the Instagram post, fans were treated with another live video. If the post reached 500,000 comments, the release date would be revealed. Again, fans began to persist. By then, many were beginning to doubt that there was a release date in the first place, but spent the evening trying to meet that goal. This took another few hours, but eventually, the goal was met.
Giving us a sneak peek into one of the songs, Oliver’s “captor” blasted some of the unreleased content on the live stream. Oliver Tree shouted that it wasn’t ready through the sunglasses and mask he wore as the person standing beside him said, “I just talked with the record label. I won’t raise the comment requirements any more after this. One million comments and the release date will be dropped.”
Within twenty four hours, the post reached one million comments, and fans were finally given the release date of the album:
Creating a memorable experience, I believe this marketing tactic was extremely effective, and fans of Oliver Tree knew that seeing a promise of new content was worth the wait. Giving us all strong visuals and a sense of urgency, Oliver stayed true to the character, loud and a bit controversial, to give the fans a hope by finally dropping a release date. It goes to show you just how hungry his fans have become to hear more music from him.
Oliver Tree’s debut album, Ugly is Beautiful, will be released on June 12th.
View Oliver Tree’s first single from the album here: