DISCLAIMER: In no way do my opinions reflect those of ATO Records, lowercase people records, Red Light Management, or the band Switchfoot itself, nor any other managing partner thereof. This is merely a fan-written, speculative piece on the marketing of the album. It is NOT to be quoted, used as a hard piece of evidence in any debate or argument. It is only a blog post. Thanks for understanding
Ok. This marks a bit of a departure in these singles articles. It’s also the last one (for now). But in this segment, I will put on the label executive hat for a moment. The one difference, however, is that I’m a COOL label executive. ;) So have a seat, grab a sweet, relaxing drink, and hopefully enjoy. This got a bit long... sorry...
~puts on hypothetical label executive hat~
So, ladies and gentlemen, the new Switchfoot album “Hello Hurricane” is still a few months away from dropping. But we’ve been busy and have chosen the first single, and I believe that it’s going to be the title track, “Hello Hurricane.” The reasoning behind this is that it’s a highly popular song already amongst the Switchfoot message boardies, the Switchfoot faithful, if you will. They all will be pumped to help push this song in any way they can. If we’ve got the fan-base pumped to deliver the single to their friends, family, school friends, and co-workers, half the battle is already won.
So this song, (judging by what we’ve heard of it so far) is incredibly accessible and catchy, with lyrics that can relate to every day life. It’s a song about movement, about daring to stare down the storms of life. “Hello hurricane, you can’t silence my love.” Reminds one of “Meant to Live” and “Dare You to Move” lyrically. Seeing how those two songs did at radio and MTV, I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go back in that direction, marketing-wise. It’s a song of hope. And especially in these times, Hope is attractive.
Our marketing plan then is going to be laid out as follows.
*Late June, 2009:
-Deliver the single to radio and iTunes. Make an effort to create great cover art. Andy Barron will be put in charge of this.
*Late June through late August:
- Throughout the summer, we will work the song to radio stations, delivering cd singles to various DJ’s at key radio outlets across the nation (KROQ comes to mind). This will cost some money and won’t guarantee big-time success at radio, but will guarantee that all the key stations will at least have the song at their disposal.
The radio campaign will be widespread, but we will hire key promoters to work the key stations across three formats: Hot AC, Top 40 Mainstream, and Alternative/Modern Rock.
Here is a list of the stations we will be targeting heavily:
WDVD Detroit Hot AC
WPLJ New York Hot AC
KHMX Houston Hot AC
KISS Los Angeles Top 40
WHTZ New York Top 40
WXKS Boston Top 40
WKSC Chicago Top 40
KYSR Los Angeles Alternative
KITS San Francisco Alternative
WWDC Washington Alternative
KNDD Seattle Alternative
Getting these key stations will go a long way in achieving success, because these are the stations with the largest listener bases in their markets (stats according to Allaccess.com). Generally, if a station like KROQ picks up a certain song, a slew of other Alternative/Modern Rock stations will take notice and gobble the song up. That is our goal at radio – to grab the big fishes that influence the rest of the pond.
It is also important to communicate to the various promoters to slowly work the song. We’re going for a slow-burning, steady build at radio instead of a gigantic assault. Long-term success is better than a bullet single (meaning, a song that explodes to the top of the charts and is gone a few weeks later). We want the song to be steadily played all summer, much like “Dare You to Move” was back in 2004.
- We will also launch an online marketing campaign for the fans. Communicate to the street team (Footsoldiers) that every effort, every person, every chance for a listen is an important opportunity to spread the word about new music.
Twitter plan: On the day the single is launched, have a “re-tweet” mission. Make sure the fans re-post two key pieces of information on that day: “@switchfoot” and “Hello Hurricane.” The goal is to turn the song into a top trending topic, and the more times twitter users include those two key words, the higher up it will go on the trending topic list.
Banner plan: Much like the Fiction Family street team campaign earlier, fans will be given banners to post on message boards, myspace, facebook, xanga, etc. The banners will be coded to keep track of how many unique impressions they accumulate. The top three fans will win prizes
Radio calling plan: We will keep a list of stations spinning the single. It will be updated daily, with markings on “priority” stations, “hot” stations, etc. Fans will be encouraged to target stations and call to request the song. Online request pages and phone numbers will be provided.
Note: Because the fan base is not as large as it used to be, we will have to be careful to help give the fans a hand. It is ESSENTIAL that the label ensures that the fans efforts won’t be in vain. Long-term commitment from the fans is definitely helped by success.
- shoot a music video with the band and package it together quickly to prep for a VH1, MTV, and FUSE TV campaign.
-The video will be premiered the Saturday before the week of the album release on Vh1 (we will make that happen), and shortly after on the band’s Youtube account.
- The video will then be pushed for adds onto Vh1’s Top 20 Countdown voting list. Once that is secured, fans will be encouraged to vote like mad for the “Hello Hurricane” music video.
- Fans will also be commissioned (via a new Street Team mission) to spread the video across the web, much like the aforementioned Banner plan.
- FUSE and MTV rotation will be worked for as well, but the focus will be on Vh1.
- late-night TV spots will be worked for too.
And once the album is released, we can revel in the success it will get in terms of the first week. ~takes off hypothetical label executive hat~
Well friends, that’s my dream marketing strategy for the upcoming Switchfoot “Hello Hurricane” record. Hey, if anyone out there has connections to ATO Records or Red Light Management reads this, why not suggest a few of these ideas? And if this is pure madness, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments section either. It’d be appreciated. :)