Music. It’s a common thread here at Bing Bang. Whether it’s tunes cranking from the jukebox or the record player, or a playlist filled with favorite artists streaming from Spotify, one thing is certain and that is this Bing Bang team is passionate about their jams. As you are probably well aware, we’re quite passionate about marketing, too.
One day recently, the conversation started about how music ties back to marketing. That conversation went on for a while, and, I’m quite certain that it still hasn’t completely wrapped up. Regardless, it was that conversation that sparked this blog. So, let’s shine the spotlight on some concerts that took center-stage in our lives and what they meant to our marketing minds.
Jeff Felton: Grateful Dead and Co. (w/ John Mayer) – Chicago, IL (7/1/17)
My wife surprised me with such an awesome gift for Father’s Day this year: a trip to Chicago to see my all-time favorite band (well, part of it, at least) play at Wrigley Field. I couldn’t believe it. It would be the first time I’d seen the Grateful Dead (now, Dead and Co.) since 1995- and I was pumped!
I was super curious, though, and maybe even a little pessimistic about their new stand-in, touring lead singer, John Mayer. But, once we arrived at the show, let me tell you, I was time warped back to the scene I grew up with. John Mayer really impressed me on stage and with how he, as a Dead fan himself, submersed himself into the Dead’s music and culture, even living with them for a time, so he could deliver on what the Dead fans expected.
At the end of it all, I realized that even though Jerry Garcia had passed, the brand voice survived. It was always about the music, but also about the people that all come together for the same experience (but, that’s for a totally different blog!) 🙂
Peter Zemansky: John Mayer – Minneapolis, MN (4/15/17)
While John Mayer may have killed it at the Grateful Dead concert for Jeff, it was a different experience with his brand at his solo show in Minneapolis in April. It’s safe to say John Mayer’s solo brand is pretty different from the Dead in terms of his style, audience hits and tone. But you couldn’t tell that at his concert.
It was obvious that his Deadhead influence bled through to his solo act as he went on long solo guitar riffs and his concert had a pretty “Jam-band” feel for an artist known for his pop-rock, easy listening style that’s more reminiscent of Jack Johnson than Grateful Dead. It was also surprising that he seemed to distance himself from some of his bigger hits, in favor of his more free-flowing improvisation and songs from the album that he dropped the day before the concert an album that much of the audience wouldn’t know and love unlike the hits that he didn’t perform like “Your Body is a Wonderland,” “Gravity” and “Daughters.”
All in all, from a marketing standpoint John Mayer didn’t stick to his personal brand – the brand that sold 13,000 tickets to the Minneapolis concert. Many of his young (and overwhelmingly female) could be heard complaining about the missing pieces from his setlist on the way out of the arena. The lesson is: when you go off brand, you may be appealing to new audiences, but it comes with the risk of disappointing the customers you already have.
Nick Allard: Foo Fighters – Des Moines, IA (11/10/17)
It had been a night I had been looking forward to for ages. Finally. Foo Fighters in Des Moines. No road-trips to KC, MN or the Chi! Dave Grohl and his band were gonna rock it right here in the capitol city. If this show was going to be like other Foo concerts, we’re talking three hours of grungey, ear-splitting rock. Hell yes.
However, a few lines into the band’s opening number, “Run,” the crowd could tell that something was off. Grohl’s voice was cracking a bit… make that a lot. Later in the show, Foo drummer Taylor Hawkins would actually reveal that Grohl ‘basically had laryngitits.’ But, Dave and the boys were not going to let this stop them. There were 14,000 fans packed into the arena with me and there was no way that they were going to disappoint. And, that to me, is a brand promise made good.
I’ll let Dave Grohl’s words round out my entry, words that reflect that brand promise: to always rock and roll, “Twenty-two f***ing years… and this is the first time we played Des Moines, Iowa. Well guess what? We gotta lot of makin’ up to do tonight. So, we’re gonna do as many songs as we can. We’re gonna play as long as we f***ing can. Remember, I’m the guy that broke his leg and continued playing a show, So there’s no way I’m canceling this show because my voice is hoarse. There’s no f***ing way that’s gonna happen.”
And for three ear-rattling hours, I was sure glad that it didn’t.
Quinton Stanaford: 2 Chainz – Cedar Rapids, IA (10/21/17)
When it was time for the headliner to take the stage at a rap show, Tauheed Epps, aka 2 Chainz, didn’t kick off his set in typical fashion. The rap star didn’t come running onto stage bopping to one of his well-known “bangers”, instead he was escorted onto the stage in a tricked-out wheel chair.
As the show went on, Epps had a heart to heart with his fans about a significant leg injury he sustained a few weeks prior to the show. He knew it was serious when the doctor told him it would take some time before he could jump around on stage again, but when the doctor told him he wouldn’t be cleared to make the Iowa show Epps replied, “YOU CRAZY!” The story made the crowd go wild.
This, to me, was a display of brand versatility. The 2 Chainz crew didn’t let an adverse situation keep them from their goals. Instead they embraced the change and made it a part of their show. They placed Epps in a wheel chair, dressed a back-up dancer as his nurse wheeling him around, and delivered an authentic experience to his fans. The crowd felt appreciated and special that Epps demanded the show must go on. People in the crowd were already his fans or customers, and with this gesture he showed he cared. This delighted his current customers, more than likely securing some repeat business. Good job 2 Chainz.