Sony Generates Buzz with Mystery Concert Locations
One of Sony Pictures’ roles for its parent company is creating content that provides platforms for sponsors and advertisers. One of the new additions to the portfolio last year was the Flash Concert Series, a string of 11 concerts inspired by the flash mob craze of a few years ago.
“Flash mobbing was a phenomenon that was, in some ways, an artistic experiment with the goal of creating a spontaneous occurrence,” says Michael Wayne, vp-strategic alliances at Sony Pictures Television. “The flash concerts used a tactic that was similar, but we were trying to create a unique, fun, and different music experience.”
Concerts included such high-profile acts as the Roots (for the kickoff show in New York City), Jermaine Dupri (Atlanta) and Pete Yorn (Chicago). To help build local interest, acts were placed in or near their home towns when possible.
The catch? Concerts were staged in unusual locations, the venues and acts were kept secret until days before each event, and consumers who had registered on custom websites got the details by email and SMS. Street teams helped generate buzz for a week before the concert in each market.
The Roots show, staged on New York’s Pier 54, got things rolling in exactly the right direction, recalls Bill FitzGerald, executive vp at Atlanta-based Ignition. “The entire area was empty and then all of a sudden—boom!—all the kids showed up. We had five to seven thousand people there and the band played well past when they had agreed to.”
All of it provided sponsorable content for Cingular, which touted its text messaging, and Ford, which activated on-site with displays for the new Fusion. To keep fans connected after the concerts, Sony recorded each show and made clips available online days later.
The results were impressive: 25,000 attendees, 680,000 online visitors, 275,000 sweepstakes entries, and more than 42,000 Ford hand raisers.