Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Using RFID to Improve the Customer Experience

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Photo courtesy of Tomorrowland.com

Today, RFID technology is so much more than an IPass or a race-timer. The technology has changed the way big corporations such as Wal-Mart handle their supply chain management, the way retail stores prevent shoplifting, and the way experiential marketers make use of their spaces. Here are a few ways events are utilizing RFID technology to improve experiences:

Tomorrowland Music Festival:
This Belgium music festival took to the wristband trend over the traditional admission ticket. When guests received their wristbands in the mail they could register their band to connect with their Facebook page. During the course of the two-weekend event, if any two guests pressed the button on their wristband at the same time while they were close to one another, the other person’s Facebook info would be shared via email. Every day that the guest attended the festival, they received an email of all the people they met that day.

Photo courtesy of TasteofToronto.com

Photo courtesy of TasteofToronto.com

Taste of Toronto:
The Taste of Toronto used RFID a little differently than just an admission ticket. They said goodbye to the dated ticket method for paying for food and drinks and instead provided each attendee with an RFID card. The guests could load money on the card and use it to pay for all food and drinks at the event. At the end of the day, if there was money left over on the card it was donated to Second Harvest Food Rescue.

C2MTL:
C2MTL, the Commerce and Creativity conference in Montreal, used UHF tags (similar to RFID but functions from as far away as 30 feet) to help staff the event. The tags were on each badge of the guests and the chandeliers were UHF-enabled to receive information from the guests’ badges. Producers knew when people entered the building and passed security successfully, and they also knew when to add extra staff to popular food stations.

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival:
Bonnaroo draws thousands of guests to Tennessee each June. Guests registered their RFID wristbands online before attending the event, and in Bonnaroo’s partnering with Microsoft, linked them with a Microsoft OneDrive account. Every time the guest visited a photobooth or viewed a performance, they could scan their RFID band and have photos sent and saved to their account.

Checkout more smart uses of RFID in the BizBash article “6 Events Using R.F.I.D. Technology to Improve the Guest Experience.”

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What Happened In Vegas Didn’t Stay In Vegas

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CirocLatinGrammys

The 14th Annual Latin Grammy Awards is the most coveted and prestigious awards show in Latin Music. November 21st 2013 saw the crème de la crème of the Latin music scene flock to Las Vegas for an unforgettable celebration.

CIROC joined the party this year with its inaugural event sponsorship. To highlight its presence and capture the spirit of the Latin community, the brand called upon MKTG INC to activate a series of ancillary events.

First up, MKTG INC designed and produced CIROC’s official after-party for the ‘Person Of The Year’ tribute gala, which honored Spanish superstar Miguel Bose.  Overlooking the bright lights of the strip, this event took place at Mix on the 64th floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. MKTG INC transformed this space into a futuristic setting, complete with space-aged dancers, live DJs and a spectacular customized DJ booth and LED backdrop that looked like something out of the Starship Enterprise.  VIPs, celebrities, influencers and guests of CIROC were also treated to the mixology skills and cocktail experience of two of the world’s best bartenders – Mario Seijo and David Rios.

The following night at the official Latin Grammy after party, MKTG INC created an exclusive “celebrity lounge” for CIROC that included a red carpet arrivals area and a dedicated interview platform for E! Latin America, CIROC’s exclusive media partner. Once again, Mario Seijo and David Rios were on hand to treat guests to a collection of cocktails that highlighted the premium vodka’s fresh and distinctive flavor.

In addition to hosting these outstanding events, CIROC gifted custom engraved bottles of CIROC to celebrities and VIPs via the Latin Grammys gifting suite.

These incredible experiences left a lasting impression on all who were lucky enough to attend; and for those that didn’t, you can rest assure that ‘what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas’ thanks to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. #CirocLatinGrammys

Written by: Tom Rutherford

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Smirnoff Mixes It Up @ the iHeart Radio Music Festival

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BrentonHo-3401Photo Credit: iheartradio

The triple digit heat did not stop music lovers converging on Las Vegas for the third-annual iHeartRadio Music Festival sponsored by Smirnoff Vodka. Elton John, Drake, Robin Thicke, Fun, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Tim McGraw, Paul McCartney and Justin Timberlake were just a few names that rocked the MGM Grand on September 20th-21st. This year, the festival grew significantly with the addition of the 15,000-person Festival Village.

Consumers flooded onto a freshly paved parking lot near the Strip to hear their favorite bands belt out 20 minute sets on two different stages. The most notable performance, was from (SURPRISE, SURPRISE) Miley Cyrus. This was her first major performance since the VMAs. JayCeeOh, winner of this season of Smirnoff’s Master of the Mix series on VH1, played three separate sets throughout the day, giving shout-outs to Smirnoff throughout the day.

MKTG INC activated the Smirnoff tent within the village where festival-goers participated in a silent disco featuring sets from four different Master of the Mix DJs throughout the day. Guests received the ultimate  “silent” party experience as they broke it down on the dance floor and sampled one of the four complimentary signature Smirnoff cocktails, including the newest flavors to hit the market, Smirnoff Wild Honey and Smirnoff Cinna-Sugar Twist. Smirnoff also sponsored the backstage lounge at the MGM Grand and all VIP areas within the village.

After 2 days of rock ‘n’ roll in the desert, concert-goers headed back to their respective cities hoping to return next year and “mix” it up all over again.

Written by: Melissa Fitzgibbon

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Jay-Z, Samsung and the Art of Commerce

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jay-z-GO-HOME-TEEPhoto credit: TheSource.com

It used to be that there was no greater crime for an artist than to associate with a brand. It used to be called “selling out.”

But recently that’s changed. Now the high visibility of musicians in popular culture have mixed art and the cult of luxury. Hip-hop, that uniquely American sound of poetry and upward mobility, is a great example of this cultural phenomenon. And if any artist’s career mirrors the co-mingling of music and money, it’s Jay-Z, the artist formerly of the Marcy Projects and now of the 1.2 million Samsung Galaxy app downloads.

In a deal rumored at around $20 million, Samsung bought a million digital copies of Jay-Z’s latest album Magna Carta Holy Grail and made it available five days early to Samsung Galaxy owners through a unique app. Though there have been complaints from various news outlets, including the New York Times, that the app is a front for an elaborate data-mining operation for Samsung, the move earned Jay-Z a million-plus-selling album with less than three weeks of marketing behind it. In an era of intense struggling for record companies, the Samsung/Jay-Z alliance stands out as an unequivocal success.

Surprisingly, what has not been a major topic of discussion is the association with Samsung. And this is mainly to do with the power balance that has shifted in favor of musical artists in the past 40 years. Through the Internet, musical artists have been able to find their audiences without the extensive web of middlemen, resources and contracts that come with recording companies, allowing them a direct line of access to their fans and larger profit margins. This is common for both small and large artists now – Jay-Z left Roc-A-Fella, the label he started under Def Jam, years ago when it became too constricting. He now operates without a traditional label, and is able to pick and choose the partnerships that will give him the most creative freedom while remaining extremely lucrative. Major corporations, such as Samsung or Live Nation (another entertainment conglomerate that holds a multimillion-dollar contract with Jay-Z), are willing to invest in an artist that has a big following, all in the hope of a big payoff.

For smaller brands and artists, the main benefit is an increase in brand equity. An example is the partnership between fashion label Saint Laurent (formerly Yves Saint Laurent) and Zachary Cole Smith, the frontman of the band DIIV (pronounced “dive”). The luxury fashion house is luxury but in need of a fresh update, as evidenced by its new creative director, the young and arty Hedi Slimane. Slimane’s selection of Smith, whose shoe-gaze revivalist band’s debut album has sold barely 50,000 copies, is a clear indicator of the future of the brand: young, fresh, art-rock. By partnering, Saint Laurents gets endorsement from a highly respected niche artist, and Smith gets exposure and elevation from a top French fashion label.

So it looks like these kinds of unconventional partnerships are anything but – rather than unconventional they are becoming the norm. Very few artists will elect to go it alone, since there’s no such thing anymore of “selling out.”

Written by: Caitlin Buggy

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Apps I’m Diggin’

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Welcome to the first installment of Apps I’m Diggin’. It’s a monthly column focusing on a few iOS applications I’ve currently been tinkering around with, which entails the overall user experience (UI), interface design, overall shelf life and “functionality.” As you probably notice, I put functionality in quotes because I have the tendency to interact with apps for reasons that may not have been intended by the creators, but please trust me when I say it’s nothing inappropriate.

DUNNO

DunnoApp

Dunno is an interesting little app that allows you to jot down a quick note on any subject you’re curious about or, more importantly, clueless about. Once you type in the subject, Dunno works discreetly in the background combing the internet for any information pertaining to your note while you continue with your day. The results you receive range from web pages, blogs, Wikipedia, images, news, videos, tweets, songs, podcasts and more. I found this app to be very effective while in the middle of group discussions, drifting in and out and back in again, to wake up to a comment that piqued my interest. But, of course, I don’t want to interrupt to ask a question, revealing my bluff. The user interface is simple and elegant with a beautiful design flow. Dunno strips down all the content to an easy digestible read, allowing the viewer to bookmark, share and save. The application was created for taking notes in class/meetings, preparing journals/blog articles, researching for a paper or planning a trip. I use it to hide my flakiness.

WHOSAMPLED

WhoSampled App

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a big fan of classic gangster rap, like every other middle-class husky suburban jewish boy. So when I found Whosampled I immediately knew I had a great way to indulge my hip hop love and feed the addiction to chasing the influencers of my favorite old school mcs. It works like this, you type into the search field any artist and Whosampled displays a list of that artist’s songbook. Click on a song to see all of the musicians that were sampled in that particular track. Continue to dive deeper and play the exact soundclip “borrowed” on the track. You can also flip the sample to see what other artist have used the riff to help launch themselves into stardom. From there you can launch iTunes and download any of the singles. Whosampled interface and design are somewhat clunky and inflated, a couple of times losing one’s self in the sweet sweet chase it’s easy to forgive the clumsiness. My music collection has doubled since I downloaded this app, but must admit my cravings have not been curbed. I’m itching for another taste.


Written by: Mark Grundland

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Written by Admin
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May 16th, 2013 at 7:47 pm

DJ (Your Name Here)

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Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 4.53.26 PM

Photo Credit: Youtube.com

With apps like Pandora, 8tracks, Shazaam, turntable.fm and many more continuing to change the way that consumers listen to and share music, one could argue that the music industry has reaped some of the greatest benefits from the world of apps.

While most apps thus far have focused on music discovery and content sharing, some (relatively) well-known bands are choosing to focus more on interactivity and empowering the consumer to do more than just listen.  First up is Passion Pit’s Gossamer app, which lets fans create their own music videos via artwork from the band, while also providing an opportunity to remix certain tracks from the new album.

On the darker side of things, System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian recently launched a narcissistically-titled iPad app dubbed “I am Serj“, which allows fans to remix tunes from his 3 solo albums using a beat-sequencing app complete with “billions of loop combinations”, tempo and pitch effects and more.  On the even darker side of things, Slipknot recently released a new app entitled “Wear the Mask,” which blends gaming, social media, and photography, and invites users to design their own Slipknot masks and find out what type of “maggot” (or Slipknot fan) they are” (via Rolling Stone).  Note: This app is only intended for males between the ages of 14-18 who like clowns and hate their parents.

While it certainly can be argued that the reach of these apps will be limited to their existing fanbases (you probably won’t find the casual music fan eager to find out what type of “maggot” they are), it’s interesting to note the music industry leveraging the benefits of a digital world that they once set out to destroy (see: Sean Parker/Napster).  In the age of Guitar Hero where even the most musically-challenged can rock out in their living room, empowering the consumer to be a part of musical creation creates a more active and engaging experience in a previously passive world.

*~*~*

For a great example of bringing music to the digital world and to a new audience, check out our post on Paul Simon’s #Graceland25 promotion.

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

July 25th, 2012 at 8:57 pm

These are the Days of Miracle and Wonder

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Photo Credit: mashable.com

Photo Credit: Graceland25.com

Those that know me as more than just a humble blogger know that I have some major man-love for Paul Simon.  As probably my favorite artist of all-time, he introduced me to a less disposable generation of music at an early age with albums like Rhythm of the Saints and Graceland.

The latter not only remains the gold standard for Simon’s career, but also symbolizes an early effort to connect different parts of the world. Introducing Americans to South African sounds in the midst of apartheid, Paul Simon became the ultimate musical connector far before the dawn of social media and Zuckerberg.  25 years later Graceland is still lauded as one of the greatest recordings of all time, and is set to re-release to a market and world that is more connected than ever.

To coincide with the 25th anniversary and the album’s re-release, Sony Legacy (in partnership with Sneak Attack Media) set out to develop a campaign to reach a younger demographic and introduce the album to the new, digital-centric generation.  This led them to the world of Instagram and the creation of the #Graceland25 contest (launches today), which tasks fans with using this hashtag to share photos of a recent journey on any of the major social media sites for a chance to win prizes.  The campaign will also feature an interactive tour of the making of the album on Sony Legacy’s Facebook page.  If that wasn’t enough to get the younger folks engaged, the campaign also went straight to the heart of the Beliebers and tasked popular indie rock groups (hello hipsters) with recording and posting covers of the classic album.

#Graceland25 showcases a clear and simple strategy that is worth acknowledging: promote using channels that are relevant to your audience, while remaining authentic to what made you successful in the first place.  Anyone that has listened to Graceland knows that travel and discovery serve as the central themes of the album, which aligns perfectly with the upcoming Instagram promotion.  It’s also a testament to the album that these messages are just as relevant today as they were 25 years ago, which to me is the ultimate sign of great music.

I wonder how ‘Call me Maybe’ will be remembered in 25 years…

Source: mashable.com

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

May 30th, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Lollapalooza 2012: I Fink You Freeky and I Like You A Lot

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Photo Credit: ChicagoTribune.com

Photo Credit: ChicagoTribune.com

As a follow-up to Lollapalooza 2012’s ‘early bird’ ticket sale this past weekend (which sold out in 20 minutes), the festival launched a teaser campaign via digital screens at several iconic El stops in Chicago, featuring song lyrics from confirmed headliners at this year’s show.  Via the powers of online sleuthing and the folks at Wine and Pop, the lyrics have been traced back to four potential performers: Die Antwoord, The Weeknd, Justice, and Jack White.

The campaign from Lolla (and festival-promoters C3 Presents) not only takes the standard, web-based lineup release and flips it on its head, but it also provides an interactive and thought-provoking experience for consumers at some of the most iconic and high-traffic locations in Chicago.  While the full lineup won’t be released until April 11, this campaign helps bridge the gap from the pre-sale, while building buzz in an original and dare I say…freeky fashion.

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

March 29th, 2012 at 6:44 pm

In Tune with Talent

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The 2011 Grammy nominations were announced yesterday and while the list includes the usual suspects (Lady Gaga, Eminem, Rihanna), it’s the dark horses that have my vote.

Hearing that Cee-Lo Green’s catchy “F— You/Forget You” won for Record & Song of the Year, Florence and the Machine (up against Justin Bieber, among others) took Best New Artist, and the talented (and understated) Sara Bareillis triumphed over the likes of Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Beyoncé for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance with “King of Anything” would be music to my ears.

Get the full list of nominees here.

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Admin

December 2nd, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Flashing

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Everyone’s doing it. From a flash dance of En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind” on Modern Family to juniors and seniors at Centre College (Kentucky) busting a move to Glee’s version of “Teenage Dream,” flash mobs are everywhere. You never know when you’ll be exposed…

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November 22nd, 2010 at 10:42 am