Posts Tagged ‘Brandweek’

ICE CREAM AS COMPETITION

August 15, 2010

A recent Brandweek had a short article from Robert Klara on the strength of ice cream sales this year.  Klara explains “The National Ice Cream Retailers Association recently told Time that some of its members hit sales spikes of 25 percent over last year.”  We are now competing with ice cream shops for consumer’s entertainment dollars. 

I have a friend in LA that owns his own ice cream shop in the Valley…Dandy Don’s.  The guy makes a cookies and cream that tastes like you are eating the real thing (cookies and cream) rather than ice cream.  Anyway, Don and I went for a walk the other day and he says his sales are strong too.  This is a state with 12% unemployment

We must find ways to emulate what the ice cream business is doing…changing flavors to keep-up with consumer demand and keeping prices reasonable.  Speak with any promoter or producer and they will tell you for the most part, if the show is priced right and there is a demand, it will sell.  Maybe we change the model?  How about going into business with the buildings and ticketing companies to create more revenue streams? Of course this would mean lowering or doing away entirely with performance guarantees.  Maybe it is time to start investing and betting on ourselves!

Have a great week!

Jim

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BRING THE SUNSHINE WITH SUMMER!

March 24, 2009

I read an article recently (don’t remember where but think it was Brandweek) about how all of the negative stories Americans watch, read, and talk about on the economy each day are effecting depression levels.  No surprise, they are up dramatically.  The bad news is just about impossible to get away from.  Even if you try and hide, it pops-up on your IRA, 401K, mortgage statement, or even a phone call with a friend.  So how can Live Entertainment help bring the sunshine to consumers, media, and brands this summer?

In the March 23rd issue of Advertising Age, author Bob Garfield tells us that “the future is bright…but the present is apocalyptic.”.  He is speaking about media.  Newspapers saw a “20% drop in circulation…amid 23% population growth” in the same period.  Magazines have seen ad pages drop off “22% so far in 2009”.    Broadcast radio, TV, and billboard giant Clear Channel that “was going to destroy our very democracy”…well now so much anymore.  Network television’s audience continues to erode in the double digits.  Garfield says that “cable has problems of its own…as it’s no more DVR-proof than broadcast.”  Even online publishers like Yahoo! are taking a hit. 

So as marketers look for ways to reach consumers… and media try to attract business…and consumers look for a way to come out of their depression…in walks the answer to everyone’s prayers…BRANDED LIVE ENTERTAINMENT!

Walt Disney built Disneyland to make his world of imagination come to life.  That’s what we have the ability to do in Live Entertainment.  Right now, people are hurting.  Everyone is looking for an escape and we can provide that.  It is really simple…so lets do a quick brainstorm to show how easy it really is.  I’m going to turn on the TV and the first brand I see, we are going to create a Live Entertainment event for them that also solves the above issues.  Shit…ShamWow…ok.

1) TALENT – We have to have Vince from the commercials, he is amazing! 

2) EVENT – How about a car wash that uses only ShamWows to wash, dry, and detail your vehicle…the car wash is free with your ShamWow purchase.  We can use NASCAR pit crews to do the washing, make it a race, more exciting…even help out NASCAR who’s numbers are down as well. 

3) MEDIA – Tie-in print, radio, TV, cable, and web partners.  Do ad buys with all that have promotions circling back to the event.

4) GIVING BACK – Water from car wash should be recycled…hoses should have the latest water saving nozzles…soap is all biodegradable…and a portion of the money should go to local charities.

5) MORE – Maybe the car wash is tied to filling the city swimming pool for the summer…or maybe the event is actually using ShanWows to clean-up your city.  How about Mayor Bloomberg gets bankers, traders, and the like to use ShamWows to clean-up Wall Street and show America that not every NYC banker is corrupt. 

Well, you get the idea.  Brands need ways to communicate directly with consumers, as their usual forms of message distribution fall-off (see above).  The media need to sources of income and ways to drive traffic.  Consumers need cheering up.  Let’s help everyone out this summer and BRING THE SUNSHINE BACK!

Speak with you soon…

Jim

EYEBALLS…MILLIONS OF THEM

February 12, 2009

“Eyeballs…Millions of Them”…with a festival stage and crowd shot caught my eye immediately in the pages of BrandWeek.  The ad goes on; “We are the largest producer of music festivals in North America”.  If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is an ad for AEG-Live’s festival division.   Their roster now includes;  All Points West, Bumbershoot, Coachella, Hootenanny, Mile High Music Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage, Rock on the Range, Rockfest, Rothbury, Sunfest, and Stagecoach Country Music Fesitval.  The first time I saw the ad, I didn’t write about it.  But once AEG-Live bought the back cover of the February 2nd issue, I saw they were committed to reaching out for corporate partners.   

One of the 5 topics thrown out for discussion for the first meeting of “The Aspen Dinner Club” will be “Where Will We Get The Money To Develop Music Artists In The Future?”.  Btw, the club is meeting on March 5th @ 7:30 pm in each city.  Thanks to Ron Laffitte, it looks like we have a location for LA, Village Pizzaria on Larchmont in Hancock Park…other cities’ locations TBD.  Fact is, we will need to look to brands as partners more and more.  Live Entertainment needs to transform itself into Branded Live Entertainment.  AEG-Live seems to understand this and is marketing in BrandWeek where their competitors aren’t.  This a a recipe to win.

Brands are looking for new ways to cut through clutter.  Live Entertainment has so many touch-points throughout the on-sale, marketing, show, and after-show process, that corporations will see the light if you can show them the ROI we can generate!  Between the media value, data, media impressions, live impressions, sales-leads, celebrity association, etc, Live has a lot to offer.  We  just have to reach-out to brands as partners rather than just asking for sponsorship money.  Times are tough That’s when the best innovation happens.  That’s when you have to start working outside your comfort zone.  Look, the NBA just lifted its ban on hard liquor sponsors court-side.  What are you doing?

Talk with you soon…

Jim

WHAT TO LEARN FROM TOP RATED CONSUMER BRANDS

January 27, 2009

In the January 19th issue of BrandWeek,  columnist Kenneth Hein listed  the”Top Rated Consumer Brands of 2008″ according to research from BrandIndex via 1.2 million online consumer interviews they conducted.  As I looked over the list, I thought it would be interesting to go through each brand, write down what consumers probably see in them, and then see how we could implement that into Live Entertainment.  So here we go.  Please note that the first two on the list are both TV networks (just interesting fact)

DISCLAIMER TO BRAND MANAGERS: I’m not aware of your official brand messaging and don’t have time to look it up, so if I’ve got it wrong know that this is just one consumer’s take.

  1. Discovery Channel – Quility programming that covers content others don’t.  They also do a good job with brand extensions and how they touch consumers.  LIVE’s lessons here are first, quality is always important in driving sales,  and second, to develop entertainment for consumers that are being under-served.
  2. The History Channel- Again we see quality in their programming as a key to the network’s success.  Also, many are just fascinated by history.  LIVE’S lessons from History would be to create more programs like the live Titanic exhibit that combine the past with a live emotionally engaging experience.
  3. Google – First to market, easy to use, consistent, and almost everyone has access…this is a great brand.  Why not a Google for LIVE?  There really isn’t anything out there that is reliable, consistent, easy to use, etc.
  4. Craftsman – You can rely on your tools…  Craftsman is a great brand because they make a quality product at a good price point that lasts forever.  My idea here is to hook-up with Sears to produce the ultimate Handyman/DIY consumer show.  Do-it-yourself is big in a down economy!  Sears, please call me!  I already have the deck done.  Branded Live Entertainment at its best!!!
  5. Sony – You’re staying home more which means more time in front of your television.  Your Sony TV works great.  So does your DVD player.  LIVE should be able to create quality products that you can rely on to entertain you…but we don’t always.
  6. Rubbermaid – They make your waste basket and the containers you use to store your food.  In other words, Rubbermaid makes products that you need… that last.  Figure out what consumers and fans need and produce that show.  Observation works a lot better than research groups in for this.
  7. Barnes & Noble – Don’t really get this one.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the brand and read a lot.  It’s just not clear why they would be so high in consumer’s minds.  As for an idea, LA has a very successful book fair at UCLA every year sponsored by the LA Times.  Newspapers are looking for anything right now.  Here is your chance to partner with them. 
  8. Whirlpool – We need washers, dryers, and refrigerators.  That’s not going to change.  Whirlpool makes good ones.  No ideas here for LIVE…yet.
  9. Clorox – One bottle has so many purposes at such a low price.  One must be careful not to try and be all things to all people…especially in Live Entertainment.  Festivals are the LIVE version of bleach.  Lots of entertainment for one price. 
  10. M&M’s – If you are hungry and standing in front of the candy rack, M&M’s look like the best value.  You get more than one M&M, they come in different colors, sizes, and packages, and now you can even customize them.  Ever been in an M&M’s store?  Crazy!!!!
  11. Tylenol – It’s the choice of hospitals.  That’s enough for me.  They even made it through the “Tylenol Scare” and managed to invent a safety package that everyone else had to copy.  If you are in LIVE, find who is at the “white hot center” of your show theme and get them to endorce you.  If it is doctors for Tylenol, who is it for you?
  12. Duracell – High-end electronics (like those for products that keep you alive such as pace makers) come with Duracell batteries in them.  See above. 
  13. Quaker – In tough times, people turn to their health.  Quaker Oats are healthy and inexpensive (I’m assuming they aren’t talking about the motor oil company).  How about producing a health related event?  Before Ben Silverman joined NBC, I pitched him and his production company on a “Biggest Loser Live” concept”.  Now might be the time. 
  14. Pillsbury – Easy and quick to make, good price points, and an iconic lovable mascot.  Pillsbury saves the over-scheduled consumer precious time.  You should be using ever means at your disposal to break down any barriers for consumers to finding your event, buy tickets, and attend. 
  15. Lowe’s – Surprised that they are on the list and Home Depot isn’t, but hey that’s consumers for you.  I would pitch Lowes the Handyman/DIY show I want to run by Sears.
  16. Black & Decker – Tools again.  Reliability.  LIVE, see above on Handyman/DIY…again.
  17. KitchenAid – They make appliances you need with good design…and have Kitchen in their name.  In LIVE, food shows and festivals are continuing to grow.  The Agency Group Events & Entertainment has two different concepts we are producing in 2009 alone. 
  18. Campbell’s – Soup makes for filling, inexpensive meals.  Campbell’s has been around forever.  Time to start a food show. 
  19. Maytag – Years of advertising the same message of “the lonely Maytag repair man” seems to have paid off.  What’s your message?  If you are still marketing your shows line-up (product attributes) you are doing it wrong.  Market the experience!
  20. Kenmore – One would think with Craftsman so high on the list that Kenmore would be higher.  Again, with consumers…  Anyway, Bruce Springsteen is our Kenmore.  So is Sesame Street Live and Disney’s Broadway shows.  Like Kenmore, you know the brand and the experience are going to. 

Keep the ideas flowing.  During trying times like these, great things can happen. 

Talk with you soon… and please visit our new company website @ http:www.theagencygroupevents.com.   Also don’t miss the Customer Service Panel at the Concert Industry Consortium on Friday, January 30th at 3:30 pm in the Santa Monica room at the Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel. 

Jim

Two Good Examples

November 26, 2008

Today’s LiveWorks News starts with a few sidebars.  First, I would like to apologize for the old newsletters that seem to get sent to you for no reason.  I have no idea why this is happening (usually when I don’t write for a few days) and am trying to get to the bottom of it.

Second, I’ve been getting emails from LiveWorks News Subscribers asking why I don’t write more, and others asking why I write “every day”.  For the record, since October 20th when the newsletter started back up, there have been 16 posts.  For those of you that would like more info and more interaction than the newsletter is currently providing, please follow my updates on Twitter… http://twitter.com/jimlewi.

Final bit of housekeeping relates to interaction.  Meaning it would be great if you could give feedback on the LiveWorks Newsletter. Tell me what you would like to see covered.  Submit an article of your own.  And if you like what you’re reading, please pass the LiveWorks News on and encourage others to subscribe.

Now as a friend of mine once said, “on with the countdown”.

If you look back at the 16 LiveWorks Newsletters, there are a few themes that seem to pop-out at you.  Two of them are; making the most out of the current economic crisis by thinking of ways to service your customer, and partnering with brands vs. sponsorship (Branded Live Entertainment).  Below are great examples of people like you, working in our business that are taking action today rather than trying to “play it safe”.

About 5-years ago I experienced my first country music festival.  It woke me up and I instantly became a big fan of country music.  So when Southern California based concert promoter Goldenvoice (know around the world for producing the Coachella Festival) decided to partner-up with their sister company from the south to produce a country music festival on the same grounds as Coachella, every country music fan in the area got excited including me.  Now going into their third year, Paul and Skip’s (with help from Louis and his team from Houston, TX) Stagecoach Festival has a line-up for 2009 that includes Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, and a reunited Poco (last year it was the Judd’s reuniting at the fest).  Can’t wait to be to finally go and see what the “alternative concert promoters” are doing playing with hillbillies in the desert.  But what truly blew my mind came last night when my colleague Omar Al-Joulani asked me if I knew anything about “what Goldenvoice was doing with their layaway plan for tickets to Stagecoach.”  I hadn’t so Omar forwarded me this link. http://stagecoachfestival.com/layaway

Congratulations to Goldenvoice.  Please make sure the whole world sees what these guys are doing!  They actually care about fans.  There is of course a No Refund policy on deposits on tickets, which is a win-win for Goldenvoice.  Of course they want the fan to show-up so they can make money on parking, food & beverage, merch, etc.  But if for some reason they can’t, Goldenvoice still has their deposit.  Nice Job!

While flipping through BrandWeek over the weekend, I came across the ad pasted below.  Although the text is too small to read, my point in posting it was show you that Josh Turner, his label, management, publishing company, etc (not sure who really paid) took out a full-page ad in an advertising and marketing trade publication.  Josh is reaching out to partner with brands and at the same time calls himself a brand in the ad.  Both are important and something covered a lot in the newsletter.  Amazing effort by Josh and team!

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Robert Kiyosaki, author of the “Rich Dad” series of books writes a column for Entrepreneur Magazine.  In a recent issue, Robert was yet another journalist that pointed out how important it is to rev-up your marketing during tuff economic times rather than “listening to your accountant” and cutting back (sorry for butchering your point Robert).  How many experts and statistics do you need to hear before you believe it?  Increase your marketing spend and efforts and watch your sales increase…

Talk to you soon…

Jim