Star: INXS uses all Elements of a Perfect Online Marketing
Seamless synergy of offline & online marketing make
CBS's latest reality show a marketing campaign worth taking
a closer look at.
concept behind the new reality show Rock Star: INXS is nothing
new. Put a group of 15 strangers in a house together; make
them compete and then eliminate them one by one until you're
left with the next lead signer of INXS. Think of it as Survivor
meets American Idol, but with an edge.
have to admit, I am one of the few people left who never watches
reality TV. So, the fact that I got hooked on this new reality
show, made me think about the marketing elements involved
and why I can't get it out of my head.
all started one Monday morning when I logged onto MSN.com
(which is my default home page on my computer). Right there,
on the top of the page was an animated banner promoting the
new show. That night, when I started seeing promotions on
TV that matched the banner, I got interested. I watched the
first episode, was entertained, but didn't get "hooked"
right away. It wasn't until the next morning when I started
up my computer again, and there is was, right on the home
page of MSN
a recap of Rock Star: INXS, plus all kinds
of clickable online marketing elements that took me deeper
into the show, its characters, music and energy.
was nothing low-budget about CBS' co-branded ad buy with MSN.
They spared no expense to include all the best elements of
online marketing, all in one spot: RockStar.MSN.com. (Although
they do also have information about Rock Star: INXS on CBS.com
it does not draw you in and make you come back for more the
way MSN's version does).
is a list of online marketing elements from the RockStar.MSN.com,
along with a brief look at how incorporating similar features
can maximize your next campaign.
advantage of Co-branding for Maximum Exposure
CBS co-branded their reality show with the biggest property
on the web: MSN. They combined this by co-branding with an
already established, well-known rock band; INXS. Between the
two brands, the show was off to a strong start, with built
in credibility and reach (MSN technology and traffic) and
added interest (Existing INXS fan base).
it's a paid co-branded campaign or not, co-branding works
when all parties involved get equal benefit from the partnership.
MSN and INXS benefit from the television exposure, while CBS
benefits from the technology resources and huge exposure MSN
can provide to the online world. It's a win-win situation
for all parties.
Message Boards & Blogs to Generate New Content
Click on any of the contestant's profile pages and you can
find their personal blogs about the previous night's performances,
as well as their random thoughts and latest fears. There is
also a message board so fans can ask questions and give feedback.
Blogs are an efficient way to keep content fresh, and keep
the audience coming back for more. Generating new content
for your web site every day can require a tremendous amount
of resources. Whenever you can have your customers (or in
this case, the contestants) generate content on your web site,
it helps make the site interesting as well as sincere.
Encourage Audience Participation
Rock Star: INXS is not the first show to ask the audience
to login to their web site or text message their vote. However
it is worth mentioning here since it is the ultimate way to
create synergy between an offline and an online campaign.
same idea works with any type of contest or special information
that your audience can only get online. The benefits of pushing
an offline audience online, is the ability to track their
behavior in far more detail than you could in traditional
advertising. Once you get a customer to your web site, that's
when you can really monitor their activities and find out
what they are most interested in. In this case, CBS and MSN
will be able to tell which contestants gets the most views,
what songs get the most downloads and how the audience feels
about the show in general by reviewing the message boards.
You just can't get this type of detail from television marketing
Any well thought-out promotional web site has an element of
ecommerce. Log on to RockStar.MSN.com, pull out your credit
card, and start browsing through all the songs from the show,
available for $0.99 each exclusively on MSN MUSIC. Here you
can purchase and download songs performed by your favorite
contestant as well as the real version performed by the original
artist. You can also click on the "Store" link to
view all of the INXS products you could possibly want.
both the music download area and INXS products area, you can
easily click over to more general MSN shopping areas, making
this the perfect gateway to keep visitors moving through all
channels of MSN.
let visitors ignore your Advertisers
If you forgot to record the performances on TIVO, or just
wanted to see your favorite contestants perform again, you
can download the videos online. However don't think this gets
you out of seeing the television commercials that come with
the show. As I downloaded Week 2 performance of Daphna, I
had to watch a 30 second Honda commercial first. No fast -forwarding
allowed. After all its advertisers like Honda that are footing
the bill for all this.
No cutting edge marketing campaign is complete without involving
Mobile Marketing in some way. CBS teamed up with Verizon Wireless
to offer such gimmicks as INXS ring tones, wall paper and
phone video clips. Its worth clicking on the "Wireless
Extras" link for an example of some very targeted banner
ads and well designed landing pages that encourage fans to
Rock Star: INXS online marketing campaign contains all the
elements that make me excited about being an online marker.
Whether it's co-branding with other web properties, creative
blogs or targeted music downloads, the campaign has something
to encourage every fan, to get hooked, tell their friend about
it and log on for more.
Holly Berkley is an author, educator, speaker and professional
Internet Marketing Consultant focused on helping businesses
increase online sales, strengthen their overall brand, and
dramatically boost Web site traffic through proven online
marketing concepts. Her first book, Low-Budget Online Marketing
for Small Business, was rated a "Must Read!"
by Today's Books, and continues to help all size businesses
increase Web site traffic and online sales. Learn
more about Holly Berkley
For a complimentary review copy or to schedule an author interview,
please contact Aaron Morris at Self-Counsel Press Phone: 1-800-663-3007
or (604) 986-3366