A new promotion had Country fans throughout the United States competing online for a free show by superstar Alan Jackson in their hometown. Hatched by the creative minds at Capitol Records and Eventful, the campaign required fans to use Eventful’s “Demand It!” service to vote for their city and encouraged them to promote the show to friends via social media, including Twitter and Facebook. The city with the most votes won the free show.
This isn’t a new idea to Capitol Records or to Jackson, who performed at the annual Capitol Street Party, a free concert in September on Nashville’s Demonbreun Street near Music Row. At the time, Jackson saw the opportunity to reach out to people who otherwise might never be able to see him live in concert. In his vision, it’s also a way of giving back to fans in tough times.
“It’d be nice if we could do this in all the cities,” said Jackson at the Capitol Street Party. “Right now, the economy is so hard, I think a lot of people have trouble scraping up the money to come to a show.”
“I think this is one of the most exciting campaigns we’ve worked on to date,” said Jordan Glazier, CEO, Eventful. “This was a perfect way for us to help Capitol connect with Alan’s fans.”
The Jackson/Eventful endeavor actually began with a song, according to Cindy Mabe, Senior VP of Marketing, Capitol Records Nashville. Record label executives wanted to build buzz around “Long Way to Go,” which Jackson wrote and was picked as his first single from his upcoming album. “We thought, ‘OK, what can we build around this title?’ We wanted to make noise right out of the box,” Mabe said.
The idea quickly gained traction after Mabe approached Eventful, which had collaborated with Capitol Records on past projects, and Jackson. With everyone onboard, the stage was set.
“We have an amazing team of digital music marketing experts,” said Glazier. “So, when Capitol came to us and wanted to design this campaign, we built something together that lives and breathes on Eventful’s Web site but is widely dispersed across the social Web.” (Eventful estimates that more than 20 million users a month visit the site not only for the “Demand It!” service but also for a wide variety of information about live entertainment and local events.)
“It would be the biggest thing that’s happened to some of these communities,” Mabe said. “The viral nature of it is just incredible. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of competition, so they competed but they did it by talking about Alan Jackson and his new music.”
After the Oct. 10 deadline for voting had passed, Mineral, Va., population 490, was announced as the winning town, with more than 31,000 votes. Mineral had suffered serious damage in the East Coast earthquake of Aug. 23, so the results were especially gratifying to the small community. “Alan Jackson coming to our little town for a concert has taken our minds off of ‘poor us’ and given everyone something to look forward to next year,” said Mineral’s Mayor Pam Harlowe.
© 2011 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.
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