GOING ON DEFENSE

Just as the labels took-on fans in the music business, it started with a lawsuit in telecom as well.  AT&T sued Verizon for “false claims” believing it was Verizon’s advertising and not AT&T’s service that was hurting the company.  But as a very long time AT&T customer (yes they’ve gone through several name changes in the process) I can tell you that Verizon found a real weakness in their competitor and exploited it.  Verizon’s coverage, service, whatever you want to call it is better than AT&T from my experience.  AT&T needed to go on the defensive with their marketing…a long time ago.  It took till mid-November to get something from them.

Verizon was eating AT&T’s lunch for them.  Check out this for creativity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JgrBtn8XdU&feature=player_embedded.  So AT&T hired Luke Wilson as their spokesperson and finally went on the defensive while at the same time highlighting their network’s strengths.  If you watch NFL football, chances are you have seen these commercials.   

In Live Entertainment, we could go on defense too.  What if we were to create similar ads where stars compare and contrast other forms of entertainment to live?  For example, would you rather play a video game alone in your room, even if you are playing with other gamers over the internet, or would you rather go and sing, scream, dance, eat, drink, and have fun with your friends at a concert?  Bono said something at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction concert on HBO (I wasn’t at the concert) that really said it all…”Rock-n-Roll is Liberation”.  What gamer could put that kind of cherry on top?

Have you seen the ads for California tourism http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Md69zCJKD1c?  How about the creative radio spots for Vegas?  The fact that our business isn’t investing in itself is a testimony to why we have an attrition problem.  We are competing with entertainment with huge marketing budgets.  We can’t do that.  Yet it’s Live Entertainment that has the amazing communal experiences… and cool stars that have a direct pipeline to fans. 

Let’s start now! It doesn’t have to cost a lot.  It could just be a web/Twitter/blog thing.  Watch how many tickets fly out the door!

Speak with you soon…

Jim

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