With U.S. Latin album sales at an all-time low, Alejandro Fernandez notched the highest sales week of his career with his 15th studio album, “Confidencias” (Universal Music Latino). The set debuted atop Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart on Sept. 14 — where it remains this week — and entered the Billboard 200 at No. 19, marking the first time Fernandez has broken into that chart’s top 20.
“Confidencias,” an album of Latin standards, sold 21,000 copies its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, topping Fernandez’s previous best sales frame the week of Jan. 10, 1998, when “Me Estoy Enamorando” sold 20,000 Christmas-week units.
Although Fernandez has landed four previous No. 1s on Top Latin Albums, including “Me Estoy Enamorando,” which held the slot for 12 weeks, he hasn’t logged such first-week sales in more than 20 years. And he did it without a truly strong radio single.
Lead single “Hoy Tengo Ganas de Ti” is No. 25 on Latin Airplay, but No. 6 on Hot Latin Songs, bolstered greatly by downloads. These, in turn, are partially due to the fact that the song, a duet with Christina Aguilera, is the theme of a prime-time Univision soap opera.
“Even though it’s an AC song, it shows that good tracks can break genre barriers on key stations,” Universal Music Latino/Machete GM Luis Estrada says. More important, “Confidencias” benefited from a massive campaign with Target that resulted in roughly more than one-third of the album’s first-week sales, according to industry insiders.
The Target campaign included multiple components, among them a Spanish-language TV campaign on network and cable outlets that complemented Universal’s existing three-week campaign on Univision. Fernandez was prominently featured in Target’s circular printed the Sunday prior to the album’s release, and “Confidencias” was given prime positioning in Target stores’ music sections. Target is also selling an exclusive deluxe CD/DVD that features a 15-minute behind-the-scenes documentary of the video for “Hoy Tengo Ganas de Ti.” Images from the DVD are in rotation on screens in all Target stores nationwide, and Fernandez’s music is also playing in all stores.
While the Target campaign was the most extensive, Walmart and iTunes both had presales for the album, each with exclusive incentives. (Those who pre-ordered at Walmart, for example, got an autographed copy.)
Finally, awareness of the album only amplified with the announcement of Fernandez’s 11-city U.S. arena tour — presented by Cardenas Marketing Network — that begins Nov. 16.