When we think of The Beatles, we think of the ‘Mop-Tops’, the glamour of the 60s, the films, the clothes, and above all, the music. Most of us have a favourite, but for me, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, has always been a stand-out track.
Issued as a double A-side with Paul McCartney’s ‘Penny Lane’, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ would come to represent a turning point in The Beatles musical progression. They had retired from live performance and could now dedicate themselves to the studio. With the late George Martin to guide them, they began to use the studio as another instrument and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ represented the first fruits from this new approach.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have come a little closer to the story of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ as, while working with Ibbett Mosely’s auction house in Sevenoaks, we were given the opportunity promote some unique mementos of this period.
Ibbett Mosely had been asked to auction a rare collection of photographs taken in January 1967. The four Beatles - John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Paul McCartney - along with their manager Brian Epstein, had come to Knole Park, on the edge of Sevenoaks, to record a promotion film for the February release of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.
A local photographer had heard the Fab Four were going to be at the park and over the course of the two-day shoot, took a sequence of pictures and managed to obtain the autographs of Lennon, Starr and McCartney. Unfortunately, he was less successful with George Harrison’s, who told the cameraman to “p**s off!”
Stories involving The Beatles obviously have the potential to go national, if not international. We therefore worked on promoting the story to a larger audience than usual. We produced a special press release and circulating that to the print media, which resulted in articles in the Sevenoak’s Chronicle and Kent News. We also targeted specialised Beatle’s groups on social media. Twitter is an excellent way to reach international collectors as you can target the main collectors and Beatles aficionados and hope that the news will reach that special collector who is looking for a unique piece of memorabilia.
To widen the exposure for Ibbett Mosely, we also spoke to the BBC South-east Tonight and ITV Meridian News, who both ran pieces on the auction and these special lots. In addition, auctioneer, Derek Hodge, was interviewed by BBC South-east Tonight.
This kind of mini-campaign is an excellent way to bring attention to a client and help create traffic to their website. When a name like The Beatles is attached to an item, you know it is going to go global.
The success of the campaign can be judged by the fact it was a telephone bidder who eventually won the lot and, while it is unfortunate that Mr Harrison was less than forthcoming with his autograph, the hammer price still exceeded the guide price and settled at £2,900.