Outrageous Music Marketing Ideas

Reprinted from Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

I'm not sure exactly what triggered it. Maybe it was the jet-lag of flying back from San Francisco (more on that awesome trip later), but my mind started popping with creative, off-the-wall ways to promote your music. So I jotted down some notes last night and am sharing them with you today.

Okay, so maybe these aren't truly "outrageous" ideas, but they certainly aren't the traditional things that most musicians think about when they do marketing. Ready? Here we go ...

Outrageous Music Marketing Idea #1
Turn Yourself Into a Happy Meal

I definitely advocate that indie musicians *not* try to emulate the same tactics as the major labels. However, there are times when you can take one of their ideas (or an idea from a related entertainment industry) and give it a small-scale spin.

You know how the major film studios promote their new animated features by tying into fast food chain kid meals, such as the McDonald's Happy Meal. Most likely, you won't be able to land a nationwide Happy Meal deal. But you might be able to do something cool with a local deli or restaurant.

I know a couple of radio disc jockeys in my town who have sandwiches or special meals named after them at certain eateries. Why couldn't you do that? Especially if you perform regularly at a particular coffee shop, bar or restaurant. For example, if your band is called Sweet Potato Sunrise, approach a manager with the idea of offering a Sweet Potato Sunrise omelette, or a Sweet Potato Sunrise latte, or a Sweet Potato Sunrise daiquiri?

You get the idea. The special name would get you exposure at the establishment whenever it's open (hopefully, you're item will be listed on the menu). Plus, you can use the unique promotional angle to get mentions in the local press.

Outrageous Music Marketing Idea #2
Become an Instant Cult Classic

The success of the film Napoleon Dynamite has me thinking. The movie itself is still growing on me, but I'm fascinated by the buzz it has among people who really connect with it. Most of my friends who rave about it have seen it numerous times and claim that the more they see it, the more they appreciate and enjoy it.

What a nice position for a filmmaker to be in. Admittedly, a lot of people don't like the movie and its flat characters at all. But those who do appreciate the film like it a lot -- and preach about it to their friends, memorize lines, encourage theatres to have midnight showings, etc.

How can you tap into that? It's hard to manufacture cult status, but here's an idea: What if your music CD came with an accompanying trivia game? And what if the game tied directly into the theme, style and lyrics of your music? The game instructions could be included in the CD sleeve or delivered separately to everyone who bought one. Or, to make a greater impact with the trivia game idea, you could package the CD in a DVD case or even a small retail box.

To make this work, you'd have to come up with a cool, interactive game idea and have a CD filled with interesting or funny or insightful lyrics and music. But if you can get people examining the nuances of your material and sharing notes with other people who are memorizing your stuff, you might have some powerful buzz going for you.

Check back for a couple more outrageous ideas I jotted down. Hopefully, these will get your wheels turning in the meantime.

Bob Baker is the author of "Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook," "Unleash the Artist Within" and "Branding Yourself Online." He also publishes TheBuzzFactor.com, a web site, blog and e-zine that deliver free music marketing tips and self-promotion ideas to musicians of all kinds. Visit TheBuzzFactor.com for more details.

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I really like Bob Baker but these ideas are totally whack. I think that music marketers need to stop thinking about how they can hook in with local fast food places or create weird board games and just do what matters over and over again. If you want to know what that is there are just four words. Building you mailing list.


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