The Future of Music Contests and Online Branding

Rock The Camp

Move over American Idol. The new tune of music competitions is here—and it’s more interactive than ever before. Rock The Camp, a national talent search, is looking for the next big thing, and it’s turning to online video (and our client Endavo) to do it.

Already nearly 600 bands have signed up, and the site has received more than a quarter of a million views. What’s more: The content has attracted a host of big-name sponsors and 10,000 registered members.

The prizes aren’t bad, either. The winner opens for multi-platinum music artist TobyMac in Nashville, receives a recording session with Grammy Award-winning producer Paul Ebersold, and performs on the K-LOVE Friends & Family Music Cruise.

Through the end of February, bands across the country can upload a video or MP3 through the Endavo Media’s Platform. Fans then register and vote on their favorite performers (through the end of March), and the top ten entries are judged by leading industry professionals.

This hits all the right notes for content producers. Rock The Camp has secured sponsors and advertisers, is capturing valuable user information and is creating brand awareness across the nation. And all this Idol-like buzz required was some user-generated content, a custom-branded look and a healthy dose of creativity.

Super Bowl acts should be younger than the game

My son asked me at halftime of the Super Bowl XLIV – “Dad, why do the halftime acts have to be so old?’’

The Who

At first, I was just happy that he did not add the line I knew he was thinking: “Dad, The Who is way older than even you.”

My 12 year old is slightly too young to remember the wardrobe malfunction that terrified CBS and likely all the executives that picked the halftime act. Since that day, the Super Bowl halftime shows have been the hall of fame for musical acts that qualify for AARP. If something was accidently exposed, I’m sure everyone would just look the other way.

In a marketing sense, the planners of the Super Bowl and NFL need to run a modern play. When picking halftime acts, they should appeal to my son and daughters. Not my parents.

Yes – the younger hipper acts might leave people talking the next morning about something other than the tired commercials. It might actually make for good PR.

The Who is the equivalent of the three yards and a cloud of dust.  Time for the NFL to dust off the playbook and bring in a young gun.

Grandstanding makes for bad PR

Mel Gibson

Today we’ll look at how to handle public relations and media relations THE WRONG WAY with some help from a pair of special guests: the federal government and Mel Gibson.

Lesson #1 – choose your words carefully and say what you mean. This is especially important if you happen to be speaking before a congressional committee. While talking about Toyota on Capitol Hill, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says, “if anybody owns one of these vehicles, stop driving it; take it to the Toyota dealer.” This throws a few million Toyota owners into a frenzy and drives the company’s stock price down. LaHood then says this was “obviously a misstatement.” He later puts it in reverse and says, “What I said in there, or what I thought I said was, ‘if you own one of these cars, or if you’re in doubt, take it to the dealer.’” Whether he was trying to talk tough in front of lawmakers or just put his foot in his mouth, the end result was an inexcusable public relations mistake – and your tax dollars hard at work doing damage control.

Lesson #2 – choose your words carefully and don’t say what you feel. This is especially important if you happen to be a prominent actor doing a live TV interview. Mel Gibson is promoting a movie (his first in eight years) and decides to berate reporters who ask him fair questions about his past mistakes, and calls one of them an “a–hole.” This is not a good tactic to endear yourself to anyone, and no one is buying the publicist story that Gibson was talking about him. At least borrow a page from LaHood’s playbook and try “obviously a misstatement.” An apology would also be a good start, especially if you want to make Lethal Weapon 5.