Posts Tagged ‘Coke’

4 PLACES FOR EVENT IDEAS

March 8, 2012

Have you ever seen the movie The Player (great film)?  Tim Robbins plays a movie exec (Griffin Mill) that accidentally kills a struggling screen writer he believes is sending him harassing postcards. 

In a creative meeting, Larry Levy, a competitor of Robbins’ character at the studio played by Peter Gallagher suggests that movies can “write themselves” and ideas can come from anywhere…even newspaper headlines.  Gallagher’s character then asks those sitting around a conference table to start reading headlines from the day’s paper aloud, giving movie premises for each (e.g. Bonnie & Clyde meets Driving Miss Daisy…).  Of course it isn’t as easy as Larry Levy would suggest, and in the end, the studio ends-up paying the $1 million a script Levy said wasn’t neededed…even as a bribe to keep the person who actually did write the post cards from talking (his script was based on Robbins’ character killing the struggling screen writer). Live entertainment and events are different.  You can harvest concepts from what’s right in front of you.  Here are four places to start.

TV – For years, television has brought their act on the road.  Recently we have seen tours from American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance (who should also do a dance camp for fans), and Glee.  Culinary stars Guy Fieri, Anthony Bourdain, and Paula Deen (to name a few) have created real businesses through their live performances. There are even popular attractions in Vegas like the CSI Experience and Price Is Right where guests become part of the shows. And there are still an infinite number of ideas out there.  Just take the shows with the word “War (s)” in them for instance. 

How about Neighborhood Cupcake Wars or Storage Wars Showdown?  You could have a Whale Wars educational tour presented by Greenpeace.  AND if someone doesn’t produce a Project Runway tour for the fashion industry, I’m going to (in fact email me @ jim@liveworksevents.com). 

FILM Spider-Man, Shrek and several of Disney’s movies are on Broadway.  Batman will be coming to an arena near you.  Feld Entertainment has been entertaining girls and their moms for decades with Disney On Ice.  Music peeps (Gregg Perloff and Spencer Churchill) produced Star Wars: In Concert.  So what’s your idea? Maybe Stunts and Gadgets of 007, orCREATURES OF HORROR (highlighting the best movie monsters)?

MAGAZINES/PRINTRolling Stone has had their name attached to college tours for years.  American Express Publishing (Food & Wine Magazine) owns upscale culinary events like the Aspen Food & Wine Classic.  Fortune and Forbes have put their name behind many financial conferences and gatherings (e.g. Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit is in its 14th year).  A story in March 5th’s Advertising Age titled “Events businesses are paying off for publishers” shows the profits publishers are making from their Live Entertainment extensions (included Fortune, Time, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, O Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times and Vice Media).  Shoot I’ve even developed the Jeep World Outside Festival with Outside Magazine that played 23-cities in 5-weeks. 

Let’s come up with ideas for publications…Men’s Health’s Adventure Days (could promote with Living Social, etc), Vogue Presents “What To Wear”, Cosmopolitan’s Secrets To Relationships, or People Magazines’ Celebrity Photo Gallery.

BRANDSNike does their Run Hit Wonder. Vans own a large piece of the Warped TourHeineken has sponsored many music festivals including their own. Almost every automobile manufacturer has “ride-n-drive” events.  This is Branded Live Entertainment at its best. 

Sears’ Craftsman Tools should start the Ultimate Handyman Show (like a home show hosted by their stars Ty Pennington and Bob Vila)… or based on their rank as the number one seller of exercise equipment, perhaps partner with NBC’s The Biggest Loser for a health expo?  Brands should also go outside their box.  For instance Coke has always put their brand behind sporting events.  Why not Coca-Cola’s Sports Fantasy Camps?

Please share your ideas.  There are plenty of places to mine from.

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NEWS YOU CAN USE

March 25, 2009

Redlight Leaves a Light On

Industry veteran Nick Light has joined Coran Capshaw’s Redlight Management team and will be heading up their touring division.  Nick spent the last bunch of years as VP of Touring and Artist development for Warner Bros.,  before doing a quick layover at Sony as part of the Rick Rubin restructuring.  We are glad it didn’t take long for Nick to resurface. 

Matlins CMO At Live Nation

Old news for sure at this point, but as mentioned as a rumor in one of our newsletters a few months back, Seth Matlins is now officially the Chief Marketing Officer for Live Nation.  Seth comes from CAA where he was one of the leaders of their marketing divsion working with brands such as Coke, eBay, Harley Davidson and Starwood Hotels (that’s probably why Starwood is now the official hotel chain for Live Nation).  Hats off to Live Nation for the effort…and good luck to Seth. 

Layaway For All

Turns out that the ticket layaway plan we’ve discussed a few times in the newsletter that AEG’s festival division is doing for their Stagecoach Country Music Festival is actually being implemented across all of their festivals.  So, fans can buy tickets and “pay as you go” for Coachella, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Mile High, Bumbershoot, and Rothbury festivals.  Nice job!  Innovation is the key to the success and growth of Live Entertainment.

U2’s New Stage

Speaking of innovation, U2 is headed back out this summer…and back into stadiums.  Their rig looks just amazing!!!  http://360.u2.com/  This is innovation…bringing a show to the people.  Say what you want about the band, this is really cool!

How Will We Build New Arena Acts?

You hear this question over and over again…and yet we aren’t paying attention.  Nine Inch Nails, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Nickleback, Greenday, Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews, Pearl Jam, Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Hanna Montana…all play arenas.  Wake-up…keep building. 

Speak with you soon…

Jim

CMO AT LIVE NATION???

January 29, 2009

There is a rumor circulating that Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, has hired former CAA Marketing agent Seth Matlins in the newly created role of Chief Marketing Officer.  If it is true (and I believe it is), it will be the first time that I’m aware of that a concert promoter has brought in someone from outside music to oversee marketing.  This would be big news. 

Seth is also a good fit in the world of Branded Live Entertainment.  Matlins was one of the senior people at CAA Marketing.  While at CAA he oversaw big-brand accounts including Coke, Visa, Starwood Hotels, eBay, Delta Airlines, Harley Davidson, and Hasbro…and he is smart.  Seth knows how to put the pieces together and is well connected in Hollywood as well as Madison Avenue.  Russell Wallach(who runs the sponsorship side of Live Nation) could find new ways to work with his clients through Seth.  Points to Live Nation on this one.  Now it’s time to tackle customer service.

Speaking of customer service, I’m moderating the Customer Service in the Concert Industry panel at the Concert Industry Consortium tomorrow, January 30th @ 3:30 pm in the Santa Monica Room @ the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in LA.  The panelists are Geoff Boucher, The Los Angeles Times; Rick Mueller, Live Nation; Lee Zeidman, Staples Center/Nokia Theatre, and Patrick May, Skyline Music.  We will have free beer and wine at the event to serve you better.  Please come by.

Talk with you soon…

Jim

Drop Your Price Already…

November 8, 2008

Well I must start with another disclaimer.  You see my brother writes a blog very similar to the LiveWorks Newsletter and today, he talked about what’s covered below…and we post on the same site.  So here is a link to Joe’s stuff so you know there is no plagiarism on either of our parts. http://joelewi.wordpress.com/

For weeks we have been talking about embracing the recession and finding ways to use our Live Entertainment to pull consumers out of their funk.  We’ve covered customer service, partnerships versus sponsorships, using examples from political marketing to move an audience, and all the positive psychological and financial attributes of selling-out shows.  What our business needs to fix immediately is ticket prices.

Burlington, VT concert promoter Alex Crothers pointed to gas prices as having a much more noticeable effect on ticket sales than the stock market or bad news about the economy.  There has been story after story reported in the media about retailers perceived as bargain or discount merchants sales going up, while those catering to design and style sales are declining.  Case in point, Wal-Mart and Target.  Target is down, Wal-Mart is up.

Of course there is always the consumer that had the perception that if things cost a lot, they have to be worth it.  There is case after case study of events attendance actually going down as ticket prices fell year-to-year and the opposite happening if ticket prices rose.  That was not in a 2008 economy.  Now even luxury brands normally immune to market fluctuations are feeling the hurt.  In Forbes annual “Richest People in America” issue, even the boys from Google took it hard seeing  their “stock down 40%  since all-time heights last November.”  Why are we in the live business ignoring this trend?

It is time for all of us in live entertainment to knock-off the “pomp and circumstance” around what we do and see it as any other business would.  Yes our talents need to eat.  So do managers, agents, promoters, techs, stagehands, venue people, and everyone else associated.  But everyone needs to eat a little less to get a lot more.  The live and music businesses are special.  But I’m sick of hearing that what we sell is so different from what everyone else sells.  Selling is about emotional connections.  So the fact is, we have a leg-up on all the other entertainment distractions out there.

In the November 3rd Issue of Advertising Age there is a story about ranking brands based on “best bang for buck”.  Interesting stuff.  Consumers were asked to rate best ans worst by category based on “providing the best value for the dollar”.  For Domestic Airline, Southwest was best, United worst.  Carbonated beverages, Coke best, Red Bull worst.  Credit Cards, Visa good, Discover bad.  And no surprise here, in Financial services, Fidelity was ranked best while Goldman Sachs got a negative rating.  Another great group of stats from the article where the “Bottom 10 Brands”…brands with the lowest scores.  10) Starbucks, 9) BET, 8) Neiman Marcus, 7) 7-Eleven, 6) Perrier, 5) Abercrombie & Fitch, 4) AIG, 3) Red Bull, 2) Hummer, and # 1) MTV!!!! No live brands in the study.  Btw, Craftsman was the #1 brand for value.

Why is this all important to you?  Because if you are Live Nation, AEG, MSG, Feld, Momentum, GMR, or Chrysler, you are creating live brands of some kind.  Building value into everything you do defines your brand.  Ticketmater Entertainment will have a hard time getting over its old “TICKETMASTER” reputation.  Hiding the fees is not going to change anything.  The artists and shows will always have their names.  What we need to do is drop our prices and explain to consumers what they are getting for their money.

We do a bad job of marketing the experience of live.  Let’s take a look at that.  Volume will do more for our business than raising prices.  Lower your prices $2 on everything (tickets, merch, food, beverages, parking, venue charges need to go away all together, etc) and tell the consumer all the amazing things they will see, hear, feel, and do at your event, show, or attraction.

So drop your prices and watch as the money comes in.

Talk to you soon…

Jim

Start or Buy a Consumer Show… or Three…Today!

October 26, 2008

To be fair,  just as CNN or Fortune disclose that they are “a Time Warner Company”, I should let you know that although not in it now,  I grew-up in the consumer show business (my parents own and or operate a bunch in the Albany, NY market).  Consumer shows (Auto, Home, Bridal, Boat, RV, Ski, Sport, etc) have been around forever and yet for the most part have not been consolidated (although there are two companies working on that now), re-invented, grown, or even been on most of our radar.  Consumer shows are a huge growth area for the Live Entertainment and Branded Live Entertainment Businesses and something you should look into right away.

Certainly can’t speak for the rest of the world, but in the U.S., consumer shows are for the most part controlled market-to-market.  One promoter usually “owns” a city or region and does a majority of the shows in that market by locking-up the convention center or best venue or venues in town (e.g. Javits Center in NYC).  There is no reason for this model to continue, although if you wanted to start this way, there are markets open for you to jump into all over the country.  Because consumer shows are not seen as sexy to the entertainment industry (no real talent, very short windows to make money, low margins), we have ignored them.  As consumer show promoters’ die-off, there is no one there to take their place so the markets now lay dormant.  Opportunity there for sure, but what I’m thinking is looking at this from a whole new angle.

Consumer shows work perfectly into today’s economy.  What I’m suggesting is infusing what all of you do best into a model that in many cases needs some updating.  Have you been to one of these shows recently?  If not, go.  You would be surprised that with few exceptions (some of the auto shows for example), not much has changed.  Same booths, same pipe-n-drape, skirted tables, demos, brochures, promotional giveaways, and appearances by “celebrities” you’ve kind of heard of…you think.  What if there was real celebrity, real production, and great brands all built around the idea of helping consumers with a problem?

As an example, “the news” is full of reports that the new home starts are way down.  Makes sense since banks have no money to lend.  So what if Sears were to grab two big celebrities they currently work with, Tye Pennington (new school) and Bob Vila (old school) and build “Do-it-Yourself Workshops” around the country starring Tye and Bob?  Besides Tye Pennington and Bob Vila, Sears and Craftsman become the stars and their brand breaks through the clutter.  Sears and Craftsman advertising and promotions not only push the brands, but the upcoming events (which they also have a piece of), their stars and their stars’ brands (sold through Sear’s outlets and online).  You could do the same with Kmart, Wal-Mart, Target, Ford, Dell, AIG (no spa treatments please), P&G, Coke, Wells Fargo, and any other brand that wants to reach consumers.  Again, you must be helping people with a problem.

The keys to success are these.

1) Be Authentic.  Your event needs to be the real deal, not a mobile marketing campaign for your brand.

2) Have great talent involved up and down the line.  It isn’t enough to have a few celebrities involved; you need to have a first class event.  As an example (although not a consumer show), if you were to ever go to Michael Jordan’s adult fantasy camp, you would notice that you not only get MJ himself, but a whole team of NBA and NCAA coaches, training and hospitality staff.

3) Media partners are key.  Most consumer shows don’t spend much on advertising.  They usually will partner-up with a local print, TV, and radio partners.

4) Make money before you open the doors.  Between selling booth space and sponsorship your consumer show should be making money before you sell a single ticket.  Any money you make at the gate is gravy.

5) Don’t charge the public a lot of money for a ticket.  If your show is extremely talent heavy and in a major market, maybe you charge $20 with no coupons (of course there should be multiple places for consumers to get coupons for discounted tickets).

6) Solve problems for consumers.  As an example Wells Fargo (my bank) could setup “Get Back Your Money” shows where they bring in the biggest names in personal finance as well their best local stars to help consumers get back on their feet.

7) Start Now!!!

If ever there was a time to get into the consumer show business, now would be it.  Whether you are a brand, live event pro, or currently in the consumer show business, it is at least worth a look to see if you could find an opportunity for yourself or company in consumer shows.

Would love your input.

Talk to you soon…

Jim