Miller Offers Exclusive Concerts Via the Rellim Tour
Miller took a gamble and won when it spelled its name backwards for a music campaign that was intimate, exclusive and memorable.
“From a music-strategy standpoint, we started to recognize that the young adult doesn’t necessarily get impacted by us sponsoring a huge traveling circus,” says Peter Laatz, Miller’s manager of entertainment marketing. “These objectives were different from where we used to work with.”
So Miller set out to (1) associate the brand with emerging music artists who were being discovered by young adult influencers and (2) move the image and perception needle. There were four core values the brewer was looking to tap: discovery, innovation, self-expression and rebellion.
New York City-based Clear Channel created the 2002 Rellim Tour, a proprietary music property that toured 20 core Miller markets three times each during the spring and fall. Radio stations in each city doled out the free tickets as part of on-air sweepstakes in the spring, and the fall leg actually sold tickets to the public.
The program turned around more than the company’s name, giving attendees a backstage experience by literally flipping venues inside out to provide a “view from the inside” of up and coming acts. Ticket holders entered venues through a “stage door,” then hung out in the “green room” and “dressing room” with the acts. They played games, tried on rock clothes, warmed up some of the band’s guitars and ate free pizza (and drank beer, where legal). “This totally transcended the expected concert experience,” says Darin Wolf, vp-marketing with Clear Channel Entertainment. “Fans were touching and feeling music in ways they never had. This broke new ground for music marketing.”
Print ads supported, and radio sweeps partners kicked in a total of $1.5 million in free media value. Rellimtour.com provided program information, footage from shows and diary accounts from attendees to keep the buzz going. Themed point-of-sale drove awareness in clubs and bars. Venue marquees, wall projections, posters and road cases added to the mix. The band tour buses were turned into a promotional platform, giving guests the chance to go inside and check out life on the road and actually picking up some sweepstakes winners at radio stations before shows. “Consumers want it to be interesting,” reminds Laatz.
Bands come and go, and Miller made sure it locked into the best, and not the rest, by changing acts throughout the program. About 14,000 consumers showed up at the 33 shows across the 61 days. The effort generated a 71-percent return on favorability, 90 percent of attendees said they’d go again and satisfaction levels reached a perfect 100 percent at many of the shows.