The first Rock-N-Roll Allstars tour through South America required a significant measure of promotion to catch the eye of the public. Odyssey (then known as Aria) was engaged to craft and implement a plan including PR and social media. Following the tour’s success, Odyssey would promote three additional tours.
The Publicity Strategy
Some of the biggest names in rock history coming together to create a mega-band… it should be easy to market, right? Not necessarily. As with any new product, it needs to be exposed to the public over and over before it stands on its own. Hitting target publications that cover rock music in the regional areas the tour would stop was the first priority, followed by larger international publications that would generate interest in the band in markets around the world.
Prepping The Band
Some band members wanted to know who they would be talking to and what their schedule was like for the day, while others just went with the flow. The band was usually prepped right before the interviews in the green rooms and via e-mail, which let them enjoy their personal off-duty time at their leisure.
Managing Press Conferences
Press usually RSVP and get confirmations well before the conferences happen, but due to overwhelming demand, additional press members showed up on site hoping to get in and, for the most part, we welcomed them. Since the South American press tends to be made up of a lot of fans, we had to keep an eye out for pandemonium on the way in and out of the press conferences, so the security detail arranged their quick entrances and exits. Additionally, we engaged the services of a translator for each press conference, so we could set the rules in the native language.
Number Of Press Conferences
In addition to the media already covering the events themselves, we set up three press conferences — one for each town.
There was an exclusive backstage meet-and-greet at each show. Radio station contest winners and other VIPs were given the chance at a rare group photo op.
We encouraged each band member to take to their own Twitter and Facebook accounts for updates (minus a few members that don’t tweet). As Duff McKagan (bassist, Guns N’ Roses) said to Odyssey, “We’re all in the business of social media now.” The one voice was handled by Odyssey via Facebook and Twitter and it had to be managed very carefully — especially when the band cancelled some shows and fans took to the social media sites to voice their displeasure.
Through press releases, the official site and the social media sites, Aria had to carefully navigate the rocky road of cancellations. In crisis mode, Odyssey was able to request a heartfelt statement from the band on the situation, which appeased the unhappy masses.
The three outdoor shows had roughly 7,000 attendees each, and the club show was packed at roughly 800.
The band’s show was often described as “magic”. It marked the first time that many of these iconic musicians had been on stage before, and for some it won’t ever happen again. The fans that got to experience the shows were very excited and continue to spread the word. The entire trip was documented by a film crew as well as immortalized by the “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” TV show. Future shows are planned for Asia, Australia and, by popular demand, the United States. And of course, Odyssey will be there.