Volume II

The BEATLES are coming!

Teaser stickers and 1964 promotional campaign


These orange & white Capitol promotional "teaser" stickers are among the earliest known items of Beatles memorabilia. The 3" x 2" stickers were designed to be placed by Capitol salesmen on "any friendly surface as you walk down the street". This was part of Capitol's initial January 1964 Beatlemania blitz to promote the release of the Meet The Beatles album and I Want To Hold Your Hand single. The stickers were made in large quantities, in rolls of 250. Quite a few unused rolls turned up in late 1998 and at the time were being sold for $20-$25 each. Currently, in 2021, they can be found for around $50 to $100.

Below is the text of the original December 1963 Capitol Records memo for sales managers and regional managers, outlining the initial "Beatles Campaign". The memo contains a lot of interesting, important and historical information about the promotional items issued and their planned uses and release dates. Described are easel-backed trade ads, Beatles "Booster" buttons, Beatle wigs, the stickers, a tabloid newspaper, promotional albums, die-cut jackets and the awesome Beatle Motion Display, today one of the most sought after and valuable Beatles promotional items.

DATE:December 23, 1963
TO: B/D Sales Managers, Regional Managers
FROM: Paul Russell
Office:National Merchandising
Capitol logo


The contents of this memo should be distilled for presentation at the upcoming sales meetings. Sufficient copies are being sent to each Regional Manager so that he can hand one out to each of his branch managers who will be conducting their own meetings. Please make certain that all the pertinent information is relayed to the salesmen so they can be fired up to the maximum degree for the start of the Beatle Campaign.


On Monday, December 30, a two-page spread will appear in Billboard (it may be in Cash Box, too, on that day, or it will run a week later). We have ordered large quantities of soft-sheet reprints of that ad. Each B/D will have these reprints in bulk. Make sure that all important radio station personnel and retail account personnel have their own personal copy of this ad. It's a good one, and will do the job of introducing them to the Beatles.

We have also ordered easel-backed reprints of this ad in large quantity. All B/D's will have enough so that one should be on the counter of all of your important accounts. The copy on the easel-back has been changed to make the ad interesting to consumers. Put it where they'll see it, where they'll be impelled to buy both the Beatle single and LP.

We've asked that both of these items arrive at B/D's no later than January 2, so you can start off the year of The Beatles on the right foot.


Shortly after the first of the year, you'll have bulk quantities of a unique see-through plastic pin-on button. Inserted in each button is a shot of the Beatles, with each boy identified. What to do with the buttons? First, have all of your sales staff wear one. Second, offer them to clerks and jocks. Third, arrange for radio station give-always of the buttons. Fourth, keep some in reserve for the requirement which will be listed below under "Tabloid."


Again shortly after the First, you'll have bulk quantities of a Beatle hair-do wig. As soon as they arrive - and until further notice - you and each of your sales and promotion staff are to wear the wig during the business day! Next, see how many of the retail clerks in your area have a sense of humor. Then, try your jocks, especially those who hold hops. Then, offer some to jocks and stores for promotions. Get these Beatle wigs around properly, and you'll find you're helping to start the Beatle Hair-Do Craze that should be sweeping the country soon.


As soon as possible after the First you'll have fantastic quantities of these two-inch by three-inch teaser stickers. Now, what are you going to do with these huge amounts of stickers? Put them up anywhere and everywhere they can be seen, that's what. It may sound funny, but we literally want your salesmen to be plastering these stickers on any friendly surface as they walk down the street or as they call on radio or retail accounts. That probably won't get rid of them all, however. Make arrangements with some local high school students to spread the stickers around town. Involve your friends and relatives. Remember the "Kilroy Was Here" cartoons that surfaced everywhere about 10 years ago? Well, now it's going to be "Beatles Are Coming" stickers that are everywhere you look.


Publicity Director Fred Martin has concocted a simply marvelous vehicle for spreading the Beatle story. It's a four-page tabloid newspaper which looks deceptively legitimate. But of course it's our doing, and all it contains is picture after picture and story after story on the Beatles.

You'll be getting huge quantities of this tabloid. How to exploit it? Send bulk copies to major retailers for distribution to consumers. Offer bulks to jocks for give-away. But most important, make arrangements with local high schoolers to distribute them to fellow students after school (check with George Gerken on those arrangements). The idea is to get as many copies of this tabloid as possible into the hands of potential Beatle buyers. Don't, under any circumstances, end up with any large quantities of this tabloid sitting in your back room. They won't help there!

Important note for Sales Office Managers. Because of your limited storage space, make immediate arrangements to send some of the tabloids out to your salesmen's homes, while you send others right out to retailers. Just keep on hand that quantity you'll distribute through the high school students.


On or before release date (looks like mid-January at the latest) you'll have exceptionally large quantities of both promo albums and jackets. With each copy of the LP that you give to jocks, make sure to include a copy of the Tabloid. You'll have enough promo to allow you to set up contests with your jocks with the album as prizes.

We've sent you the largest quantity of die-cut Jackets in history. Get them displayed ... everywhere!


Along about the first week in February, you'll receive bulks on an extremely exciting motion display. Sorry it will take us so long, but you'll agree it was worth the wait when you see it. About mid-January, you can begin telling your accounts about the display and arranging for windows.

That about does it. Please get this message to your salesmen and please follow the directions included in this memo. If you have any questions, contact George Gerken immediately.


Paul Russell
National Album Merchandising Manager

Distribution: Bulk to RM's for redistribution to BSM's, single copies to: Setzer, Massick, Manning, Caravena, Heldt, Amols, Callison, Karshner

cc: Messrs: (Gortikov, Strohman, Tallant, Gerken, Goyak, Martin, Meggs, O'Neill, Samela, Davidson

Capitol memo page 1
Capitol memo page 2

Copies of the original two-page memo. Click on either to enlarge.

Capitol memo layout

Image of the layout format that seller RareBeatles has used when selling the stickers online.

Motion display
Motion display
Motion display - back

"Meet The Beatles" Motion Display. Made of cardboard and powered by a battery operated motor, all of the Beatles' heads move back and forth. This 31" x 26" x 6" window display was designed for, and delivered to record stores in February of 1964. Very few copies survived Beatlemania, making it one of the rarest of all Beatles memorabilia/promotional items. In 2008, one was sold by Heritage Auctions for $15,535 (including buyer's premium). It was in excellent condition after being extensively and professionally restored.

In July of 2018 another example, in Fine condition with minor restoration, sold via Heritage for a whopping $35,000 (including buyer's premium).

Volume II