1. First, put out an album full of songs that aren’t the typical boyband fodder that gets everyone excited with the prospect that One Direction is going to mature and try to reach a larger audience than their preteen/tween/teen fanbase.
2. Completely ignore the songs that have the best potential for reaching new audiences (i.e., Through the Dark, Strong, Happily) in favor of confusing everyone by releasing 3 songs that sound completely unlike each other - a goofy pop song (Best Song Ever), a folky mature song (Story of My Life), and a hair metal throwback (Midnight Memories).
3. Get rid of any interest gained during amazing SNL performance of Through the Dark by not capitalizing on the interest from non-1D fans. Just pretend you never heard it.
4. Instead of actually promoting the album, put out gossipy articles to the tabloids and focus on PR fakelationships. It gets more press. Album schmalbum. Be sure to keep the talk of Harry going solo - gotta sell those stadium tour tix! Who knows, folks, this could be your last chance ever to see 1D as a group with all the “Harry is going solo” articles.
5. Put out a half-hearted video for Midnight Memories, an 80s metal throwback that is too hard for pop radio and too soft for rock stations.
6. Don’t bother promoting Midnight Memories as a single and confuse the heck out of everyone by not releasing it officially in the US. Scratch your head and wonder why it’s not charting out of the 30s, even in the UK. Shrug because you’ve already made your cash from the rabid teen fans.
7. Put out a cheesy, ridiculous limited edition vinyl of Midnight Memories with your boybanders dressed up as a hair band. Never mind that the rest of the album isn’t full of 80s metal songs. Never mind that real 80s metal enthusiasts are side-eyeing your feeble attempt at capturing that era. Never mind that no one but a hardcore 1D fan would be caught dead buying that monstrosity. It’s all just for kicks and giggles, right?
8. In the meantime, just keep recycling the stuff that’s made you big bucks in the past - rerelease the book, make new cardboard cutout heads only make them HUGE so they’re even more ridiculous, squirt out a new version of the 1D perfume. Don’t hurt your brain thinking outside the box like that.
9. Sit back and collect your piles of cash until the teen fans move on. Why focus on long-term strategies or reaching new fans when you can sit back and let the horde of rabid current fans do all the work? Besides, nothing lasts forever. Milk that cash cow until it runs dry.
Let’s talk about this for a second. Is Harry caressing Louis’ cheek????