Monday, March 19, 2007

Eddfest of poor marketing

“Did you know 'The Beasts of Metal' are coming to Bangalore?” was one buzz doing rounds among music lovers, well, hard rock lovers to be precise in Bangalore. At last, VH1 and newspaper ads announced 17th March as the date of the great gig. managed to sell most show tickets. Early adaptors bought their tickets well in advance while the late majorities awaited until the last moment. ‘No tickets available’ was the next buzz and frenetic call from friends in Mumbai & Delhi forced me to press the panic button. I called up people in media, sponsors and friends working in agencies if they could help me with just two more passes for the show. No one is a real friend – no one in the media could help me with two free passes. Surprisingly, tickets were always available at Planet M, so without spending anymore time calling people for help, I picked up three tickets for myself and my friends. That was on Thursday, the 15th of March.

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Main sponsor of the show was Royal Challenge from the UB Group. Co-sponsored by VH1, Nokia, Reliance Mobile and Sanyo. Other sponsors were Levis, Pepsi, Radio Indigo and NDTV 24x7.

A look at the promotional materials and you could tell brands have just lent their logos to the event. Few Reliance Mobile, Radio Indigo and Nokia banners were all that I could see on the way to the venue. No one took the effort of creating a brand experience in sync with Eddfest. Probably, Levis was the only brand that managed to converse with the audience inside the venue. The Levis stall was selling official Maiden merchandise. Pepsi was official beverage supplier; thirsty head-bangers stormed the Pepsi stall to find all drinks over. It was Kingfisher bottled water instead of RC that was being served in the venue.

And mind you this isn’t the first time.

A captive audience of approx 40K gathered for 5 hours. What a brilliant opportunity lost for brands I wonder. So much could be done but I guess no one thought about it. Lending the logo doesn’t always help much.

  • Nokia: When you know music connects, why not use this platform to CONNECT. Well, N93i is an entertainment phone right? You could have made huge dummy of N93i screen for the live action. You could have announced an N93i Best Bootleg competition. (I could see almost everyone trying to capture the guitar gods on their mobile cam)
  • Reliance: You could have done so much beyond those banners. Mobisodes of Iron Maiden for all your mobile and broadband customers
  • VH1: Why no special Iron Maiden show/songs on the channel during the week?
  • Sanyo: You know you have so much to do to get a strong foothold in the Indian market. Your LCD panels were the perfect product to bring alive the experience. Several LCD panels could show the live action to audiences standing at far end
  • Indiatimes: Am sure Iron Maiden search in Google and Youtube was an all time high during the last one week. No brand have used web effectively. The show was powered by yet nothing much on their website except a banner ad. Webisodes is such a brilliant idea. Live webcast of Iron Maiden playing live at Bangalore for the world at large. Technology has advanced. Industrial compressions of video files is very much possible, why not use it as streaming video? Pay few dollars and watch it online as it happens

Well, all said and done, the show wasn’t worth the money spent. Only 90 minutes of Maiden on stage to hear 666, Fear of the Dark, Run to the hills, 2 minutes to midnight wasn't what the audience expected. Young rockers from Pune, Mumbai, Goa, North East, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangkok, Kathmandu, Jakarta and Singapore were indeed very disappointed. They obviously expected more head banging. “You don’t’ need to wait another 17 years to see us again, we’ll be back soon,” was the only hope that Bruce Dickenson gave us all.

And before I end, hope brands which sponsors these shows from next time will try going, ‘Where eagles dare.’'


gururanganathan said...

alas!!i missed the show....

SloganMurugan said...

90 mins is a lot of time for a band comprising of members as old as our dads!

Neil said...

I TOTTALY AGREE except for the tiem they BANGALORE every thing is supposed to be closed by 11:30 MAXIMUM...its rule given from the GOVT. and yo cant really expect them to play during the sun up.....c'mon think abt it and one more thing is tht during the sun up you really cud not see the screen put up nx to the stage.......and abt the brands sponsering didnt put ne adds up!!!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree as far as the Sponsors go..VH1 was the biggest dissapointment. No Maiden week or Maiden special on their channel.Rest of the sponsors less said the better,no maiden headbands,merchandise apart from the tshirts. if they had more things Maiden on sale it would have been a sell out even before the band took the stage. The organizers could learn one more thing. Fans stand for hours in the heat dust and swelling crowd,it is advisable to have water hoses in place to cool the large crowds who brave each other among other things.
Organization wqas poor the show was thrilling