Beatles for Sale: 60 Fab Magazine Ads From 1963-2000
The Beatles' image was almost as important to the marketing of the group as the music. In the gallery below, we're looking at how the Fab Four were promoted in magazine ads over the years.
A large percentage of the ads we've found come from their earliest days. This wasn't only because they were putting out music at an incredibly prolific pace, but also because they were on several different labels. When Capitol balked at releasing their records in the U.S., a few singles found a home at smaller labels like Vee-Jay, who created ads listing them as one of many artists on their roster. (Their own label, Apple, would later use the Beatles to promote releases by Badfinger and Doris Troy)
But once Capitol gave in and Beatlemania reached America, they put plenty of marketing resources into them, and seemingly every release was greeted with splashy full-page ads. At the same time, the soundtrack to A Hard Day's Night was originally on the label owned by the studio, United Artists.
Many of these were created with the intention of hyping their latest single or album, but there were also times where the label placed ads in trade publications congratulating the band (and themselves) for chart positions and sales marks. Vee-Jay seemed to enjoy boasting about how the small label was in the Top 10 in sales.
But even though the group were selling in unprecedented quantities doesn't mean that Capitol always knew what they had. One ad in particular promoted the "Act Naturally" single with "Ringo Starr Sings Solo!" Closer inspection revealed that the b-side was "Yesterday."