The past year has been a challenge for anyone in the business of forming relationships between artists and fans. I have been writing weekly in Forbes about these challenges. One of the most interesting solutions I have seen is the way in which Idol Roc, a promoter has partnered with Monster Energy, a brand to bring both new and newly revised ideas into the space.
There is a certain synergy when a global consumer brand puts its weight behind an innovative and experienced promoter to help spread excitement about upcoming events. Few companies have the capability to communicate at scale with consumers as efficiently as a brand like Monster Energy. Their whole existence is tied to the idea that Monster Energy is made for those who work hard and play hard. They then go on to encourage consumers to “unleash the beast.” What could be a better tie in with live music than that ethic?
Idol Roc is clever in the ways in which it addresses its audiences. They built the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour in which they built a bill around an artist who is just breaking through to bigger fame and surrounded that artist with a variety of up and coming others. Then, in order to segment the audiences, they sent multiple iterations of the tour out: Hip Hop, Country, EDM, Rock and College. This is a straight lift from the Proctor and Gambles’ playbook. The Monster Energy Outbreak Tour does not have one tour with a little something for everybody. They have five separate tours, each true to its form. For those fans who like more than one genre, they get the opportunity to attend multiple events as the various iterations come to town. And, when each version of the tour comes to town, guess who’s featured prominently in all the media surrounding the event. Kudos to you who picked up that Monster reinforces its branding while collecting the street cred which comes from being on the cutting edge of whatever is hot.
Meanwhile, Idol Roc gathers the power behind the Monster Energy brand and uses that to build affinity with consumers which helps sell tickets and allow for more tours and bigger stages. It’s a truly synergistic relationship. Monster lends its name and financial backing which Idol Roc pairs with its knowledge of which acts are breaking through and how to build a proper bill.
But, that’s not all. Together, Monster and Idol Roc have experimented during the pandemic to find ways to stay in contact with fans while no “normal” live events could take place. I wrote about a month ago and contained within the story was an fascinating interview with Idol Roc’s Steve Glazer in both video and audio podcast format:
I think Steve Glazer is the kind of guy you’d want to be with if you were shipwrecked with only a baseball, a biking helmet and half a case of Monster Energy drinks. By the time the drinks were gone Steve would have figured out how to generate power by using the ball and helmet to build a gyroscope and he would have conscripted a tree as a signaling beacon. That’s the kind of “nothing can stop me” thinking which powers Idol Roc’s growth.
Here’s a true life example: Idol Roc wanted to increase excitement about their events on college campuses. So, rather than advertise, they ran a contest. They pitted colleges against each other to see which wanted an event the most. They appointed representatives at each college to run that college’s entry and those folks, working for free, built hype on campus. That is so much more likely to succeed than just trying to hire an intern. Let the students build community and let the community build demand. Then, sell them the tickets they are demanding you provide.
I spoke with Kether Gallu-Badat, director of music and lifestyle marketing for Monster Energy. Music and lifestyle are a pillar of Monster’s marketing plan. Prior to Covid they were a core element which is why they work with artists and promoters. Originally, they were hard rock and heavy metal focused, but Monster has broadened its approach as they’ve seen genres cross-over and fans liking more than one type of entertainment.
Monster wants the music or event to be organic. They work with artists and promoters both digitally and socially on tours and events, fan concepts and promotion ideas. Monster sees itself as helping where they can whether on big tours or smaller street events. They are sincere in their efforts to support artists and the arts.
Here is our conversation:
As the pandemic subsides, and the live entertainment ecosystem comes out from its year long hibernation, it will the artists and the dreamers, the brands and the promoters, the innovators and the creators who see the path to how entertainment restarts, resumes, reconnects and reinvigorates an audience which has been truly put on ice. When there are teams in place like those at Idol Roc and Monster, I see a rapid thaw coming.