Creativity in Public Relations » music Creativity, marketing, great ideas, smart thinking, public relations, insights, inspirations, innovations and more. (Formerly known as Ryan's View) Wed, 05 Aug 2009 00:52:54 +0000 en hourly 1 Toyota Turns Up The Volume With “Rock The Space” Mon, 25 May 2009 01:12:17 +0000 Ryan Peal Providing a solid example of why MySpace still has a place in the marketing mix, Toyota unleashes “Rock The Space” – a competition for unsigned bands or solo singers to win fame and fortune in the form of a recording contract and massive exposure on MySpace.

The competition is pretty straight forward; bands submit an original MP3, design a demo tape on the site and submit their music.  In July MySpace Records will select five finalists and then members of MySpace will vote to select the winner.  In a nice twist, the finalists will be given an advertising budget to create and place banner ads on MySpace to help secure votes.  The winner will be announced in September and get premium placement on the MySpace Music Home Page.  The campaign complements Toyota’s ongoing effort on MySpace – “Toyota Tuesdays” – a day when the company gives away free downloads on its MySpace site.

I’m hoping/assuming Toyota has some street teams out and about raising awareness of the competition in bars and clubs where aspiring talent may be performing as well as malls and beaches and concerts where youth will naturally be out and about.  Outreach to music blogs and forums would also help drive awareness and traffic.

There also have been a number of artists that have been discovered on MySpace, including Colbie Caillat and Lily Allen.  It would have been great if Toyota was able to enlist the support of these gals or any of the other discovered talent to leverage in any media relations outreach – providing a credible ambassador for the campaign to highlight the reality of being discovered on MySpace.

Overall a good campaign to check out – simple, to the point, spot on with the audience and a solid incentive to motivate bands/artists hoping to make it big to start by rocking the space.

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Music Lovers Celebrate “We Are Hunted” Sun, 03 May 2009 23:00:28 +0000 Ryan Peal Let’s kick off the week with an amazing example of creative thinking in action that also is extremely simple and will have you wondering why you didn’t think of it first.  Today’s focus:  a new website called “We Are Hunted” that rocks in multiple ways.

As Madonna once sang, “Music makes the people come together” and more and more these days the people all meet up online, searching for their favorite new artists or for up and coming bands, for the music that everyone will be listening to tomorrow (we just want to hear it first).  There are millions and millions of pages online that talk about music and artists and what is hot and what is breaking and it can all be extremely overwhelming, not to mention time consuming.  The amazing people behind We Are Hunted have answered the prayers of music lovers everywhere, providing a simple and fun way to find and celebrate new music all around the world.

The site at its core is an online music chart.  But the creative brilliance of the site is actually its an online music chart that listens to what is happening in online music across blogs, social networks, forums, Twitter and P2P networks to chart the top songs online.

Most of us are used to charts based on number of albums sold or more recently, number of downloads, and the likes of Ryan Seacrest in the US and Kyle & Jackie O in Australia counting down the hits.  Most likely the hits on the radio are ones you’ve heard, and heard, and heard.  Now, with We Are Hunted, we can actually look for music based on online buzz, passion by fans and overall pockets of excitement around the world around new music.  The charts (singles and bands) are updated hourly, as close as real time as you can get (for now).

The site is extremely simple and to the point – simply scroll through visuals of bands and click on links to band sites, fan pages or how to buy their music.  And, thankfully, each song is streamed on the site in its entirety so you can quickly hear what just may be your next favorite song.

Readers of my blog know that I’m a big believer of ideas that are simple but powerful.  A lot of time we think of big, complex campaigns that turn out to have so many moving parts that it’s easy for something to fall down and ruin the whole thing.  Thankfully, efforts like We Are Hunted are alive and well, reminding us to keep it brilliant but simple.  Music to my ears!

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No Doubt’s Concert Incentive Rocks Sun, 15 Mar 2009 21:46:34 +0000 Ryan Peal It seems like every week someone is announcing some unique/never-before special promotion that is only made possible by the global financial crisis.  (Companies like JetBlue and Hyundai have been the most visible but lots are doing it.)  This week’s example comes from rock legends No Doubt.  The band just announced a very special incentive to motivate fans to buy full-priced ($42.50 US) ticket to their upcoming summer concert tour.  If you buy the full priced ticket you get a free digital download of their entire catalog, all 80 songs of it, including a new track that is making its debut on Gossip Girl later this season (score).

Besides the corporate offers there have been some other unique music marketing programs that may have inspired Gwen Stefani and the band.  Lots of music artists have been trying out new distribution channels, giving exclusives to different retailers as a way to score some bigger marketing dollars to drive purchase.  And one of the most talked about music marketing offer was a few years ago when Prince giveaway millions of free CD’s in a UK newspaper to stir up concert ticket sales which ended up selling out within an hour (and indie act the Mongrel just did something similar with the Independent newspaper in the UK).  And Prince is at it again with plans to perform on Jay Leno every night for a week – like U2 recently did with Letterman – as the music industry continues to trial new ways to entertain music fans.

Watching this all happening it’s obvious that the music industry is trying to figure out how to keep people buying music (versus free downloading).  No Doubt’s move seems to be a smart one – give the people what they want, remind them why they love you with some music from the past, and have them ready to sing-along at the concert after listening to the free music you just gave them.

Not all of us have free music downloads to give away as part of a campaign but with some creative thinking most brands probably do have some content that could be packaged up for a free element to a promotion.  Can you offer some behind-the-scenes footage from an event, special video with “how to” tips from a spokesperson, unique pictures from a photoshoot, Q&A interview with a celebrity, etc.?  If you are always on the look-out for content that can be packaged up for some added consumer entertainment you’ll be surprised at what you can find.  Remember, one man’s “junk” is another man’s treasure.

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Dolly Parton Rocks Out Cracker Barrel Mon, 09 Mar 2009 23:18:02 +0000 Ryan Peal I’ll gladly admit it – i love Dolly Parton.  Always have, always will.  From 9 to 5 and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas to Steel Magnolias and even Rhinestone Cowboy she can do no wrong.  So I was thrilled to hear she has some new music coming out, and provides us with a great example of smart brand connecting.  Dolly is obviously true country magic and her songs are loved by people who love country music and most likely, good ol’ down home cookin.  So when it came time to spread the word about her new album (with some old songs and some new songs) Dolly knew exactly where to look – Cracker Barrel.

Cracker Barrel has entered the exclusive music distribution world, and on March 23 will be the only place to buy Dolly’s new album – Backwoods Barbie, Collectors Edition – with three new songs with a Cracker Barrel twist like Hallelujah Holiday and Berry Pie. (Similar to Prince being offered exclusively at Target and Dave Matthew at Starbucks.)  Cracker Barrel has nearly 600 stores across the US, known for its good country home cookin and almost equally known for the restaurants’ front porch rocking chairs – a great place to wait for your table and your great food.  On the first day of the new album being available each Cracker Barrel will have 2, Dolly Parton pink rocking chairs for sale – with Dolly’s signature – all limited for those avid Dolly collector fans.

This is a great example of a brand (that would be Dolly) that has a clear definition of its brand and its fans and where the two meet.  Sometimes brand partnerships can feel forced or just simply akward and don’t do anything for the two brands.  Luckily Dolly has the smarts to know where her brand naturally fits and can entertain and engage with her fans in new and different places.

And a mini plug for Dolly, 9 to 5 The Musical is coming to Broadway starting in April, if you are in NYC I’d of course highly recommend it.

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U2 Living At Letterman For A Week Tue, 03 Mar 2009 04:48:48 +0000 Ryan Peal A few weeks ago I wrote about Rexona’s move into branded content, creating their own 8 week show now being broadcast by one of Australia’s biggest national networks.  Now, not to be outdone, rock band legend U2 announced their own version of branded content – performing every night for a week on the US late night talk show – The Late Show With David Letterman – to promote their upcoming new album, “No Line on the Horizon.”  It’s the first time a musical guest has been on every night on the show.  Tonight is the first night of the big week-long event.

First of all, we all don’t work with brands with the same audience power/interest as U2.  I get it.  But I’m definitely tuning in to see what role U2 the band and the brand have on the show.

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Tic Tac’s One Man Band Rocks Out Wed, 11 Feb 2009 08:17:43 +0000 Ryan Peal Thanks to my supergal Heidi in Germany you can now have the pleasure of rocking out to a one-man band who using tic tacs in all thier glory to get a whole bunch of people tic-tacing along with the beat.  It took me a while to find out if this street marketing was just for fun or officially sanctioned/blessed/sponsored by Tic Tac.  After a little bit of searching I found out that the star of the show is Micha Albacow from Uzbekistan of all places.  According to his website he heard the sound of tic tacs in his pocket as a young boy and has always had a fascination of the sound – which then inspired this one-man band action.

So I’m a little stumped by Micha – I see clearly at the bottom of his website that he’s proudly sponsored by Tic Tac but sort of wondering what came first, Micha or Tic Tac.  Does it matter maybe is the right question as Micha’s world is cooky and goofy and seems spot on with the fun of little Tic Tacs.

For me the campaign site and video works given its unique little story of making Tic Tac music in Uzbekistan and adding some personality to the often overlooked mint.  I didn’t find Micha on Facebook but maybe he has a fan base somewhere else.  And of course I’m a little disappointed that there isn’t a “show us your own tic tac beat” video competition – I’d totally enter and probably win (yes, I’m that good with the Tic Tac container and keeping rhythm).  Maybe that will come along with a travelling tour of MIcha (almost like Dancing Matt) that would feature some surprise celeb music guests and other famous peeps – stirring up the fun and keeping people tuning in to see who and what comes next.

Its definitely worth 90 seconds of your time to watch the video, you may just be inspired to tic tac to your own groove really soon.

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