Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Let The Music Play.

What do we marketing types talk about? Passion, Sociability, Authenticity. Nice watchwords, but difficult to achieve. Yet, sitting in a friend's living room yesterday, I experienced all this and more as a small group of maybe fifteen friends and neighbours enjoyed a live performance from an EMI recording artist.

Between periods of supporting established stars on UK tours, Louise Setara has set out on an intriguing piece of grass-roots marketing by playing a small set in a series of literal lounge concerts and free live gigs. In marketing speak, you could argue that she's showing how remarkable she is in co-created environments and achieving a connection that is tangible and long-lasting. It's more accurate to describe it as seeding a self-selected audience of music-lovers united by genuine social networks. But what really counts in marketing is not hype but the visceral impact.

What counts is being passionate enough to perform, without amplification, in someone's living money to a tiny audience for no money: being sociable enough to do it with grace, wit and charm (and thus be remembered as a nice person you'd want to support); and being authentic enough to be just so damn good.

Having seen her perform with her full band in December I knew what to expect, but those who'd never heard of her will remember her and talk about her. A world away from Pop Idol or the lip-synced personal appearances they may have experienced in the past - this was the real deal. At other houses the audience will be many times larger, but the result will be the same.

The younger people who got autographs will be telling everyone in school today and guiding them to her MySpace site, while others will mention it in passing or notice when she appears on TV in coming weeks. Because of the genuine experience, the word will spread organically rather than artificially. Because of the enthusiasm, the spread will be infectious. Because of her performances, Louise Setara's big voice may have a bigger future. And you heard it here first!


Blogger kaylen said...

allow me to wholly and completely disagree with you. if there's one thing i know, it's my up & coming artists. i was listening to the decemberists six years ago.

let me put it this way: if she were a book, she'd be on the Borders "2 for $5" table along with "gardening for cats"

she is effortlessly mediocre with sucrose (unfortunately unsarcastic) "dick in a box" tones.

maybe if her target was christian rock, ten years ago she'd have a shot.

10:30 AM, February 02, 2007  
Blogger john dodds said...

This is a marketing blog not a music criticism one Kaylen and musical tatse is inherently subjective. My impression of her voice is based on hearing it live rather than through the filter of production and online dissemination.

12:07 PM, February 02, 2007  
Blogger kaylen said...

your impressions strike me as being subject far beyond all reach of my criticisms... you can harp on hearing her live but i'm with the rest of the non-london universe in hearing her in that way and that way only. it's not an insignificant aspect of her 'budding career'.

i think it is just not gonna float in any music market- even the ones i don't like to begin with.

but, let us look at the other features i consider signs of impending non-success:

-album cover
i am being easy on her and her designer when i say...barely flattering photo where her torso takes up 90% of the composition, and a 2% splattering of barely flattering typography in a barely tolerable font- let alone font treatment.

- titles
bad. just bad. it does not get any more cliche`, uninteresting... the album title, the song titles...

- her name
inadvisible. what happened to the days where it was perfectly normal to change your name for stardom?

everything produced for her including the songs themselves (albums, photo shoots, copy, myspace page, etc..) are all ragingly unattractive and suspiciously dated. unless she strips down to absolute 0 and re-builds with some kind of quality, i don't see it happening it all.

but let's dismiss my opinion...i put it to a guy i know. our music tastes couldn't be more different but he's recently made it in the ontario music scene.

"I was trying to think what was special about her.

And I can't really say that there's anything special about her.

I don't know.. why should she make it? She has nothing new to offer. Sure, as long as some A&R guy loves her to death, she might be able to get out a single to a mass audience. But she won't have any lasting appeal. None of these American Idol-ish R n' B singers do."

and there you have it.

2:41 PM, February 02, 2007  

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