Weird Al Yankovic’s “eight videos in eight days” strategy paid off with a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 as “Mandatory Fun” sold 104,000 copies in the week that ended July 19. It is Weird Al’s first No. 1 album in his 31-year recording career.
The marketing strategy, which included videos of spoofs of Lorde’s “Royals” and Pharrell’s “Happy,” and originals that dealt with corporate buzzwords and celebrity name-droppers, was quite simple: “Just bombard them,” says Weird Al. “Hopefully this plan will get people talking about the album.”
In five days on YouTube, “Foil” had nearly 11 million views “Word Crimes” was watched 9 million and “Tacky” had 3.5 million.
“Mandatory Fun” is Yankovic’s 13th album, his first in three years the last one in his contract with RCA. While he pre-empts any declaration that the album format no longer works for him by saying “I’m not drawing a line in the sand,” Yankovic says it may well be his last.
“I’m more of a singles artist,” Yankovic says. “If I had to guess I’d say that going forward I’d just release singles digitally. I’d still do videos for them. I don’t know that the album is the most efficient way to release music, especially comedic works.”
For now, Weird Al will take a break from “Mandatory Fun” until he goes on tour next year. As for the four songs that did not have videos, he is not planning to do any.
“I’m sure fans will start creating their own,” he says.
Watch our interview below: