Sunday, March 16, 2008

Station identification


Did you know you can now pre-order LEEF? The album will be ready to ship sometime in the next few weeks. And the online price will go up after our upcoming tour (i.e., on April 1) -- so grab yours now! (You know, if, like, you want to.)

Oh yeah, and there's an added benefit of pre-ordering: you'll help us offset some of our touring costs!

In other words: everybody wins!

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After much discussion and soul-searching, I decided to release LEEF in an environmentally-conscious package produced by a local outfit called Stumptown Printers (and here I must thank Kris Tiner, all the way down in Bakersfield, for pointing out this amazing resource in my own backyard). Stumptown does a lot of good work, but the package I chose is known as the Arigato Pak. It's basically a (CD-sized) all-paper matchbook-like design -- with a spine (hooray!). It eliminates the need for plastic and glue. Plus it's configured in such a way as to protect the CD from fingerprints.

Hope you like it!

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Unlike me, Seth Godin seems incapable of ever blogging about anything lame. He recently posted this excerpt from what seems like a pretty funny book by Dan Kennedy -- an inside look at some kind of archetypal "Record Label Executive Mentality." The question t hand: "How many record execs does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"

First of all, before we change anything, is the light bulb really burned out? Maybe we just need to breathe some life into it; repackage it, maybe the light bulb could do a duet with somebody (Sheryl Crow? Tim McGraw?) in hopes of getting some crossover appeal, maybe it could be in a beer commercial, maybe we could get it out on the road with a brighter light bulb. The other thing to think about is that this summer, Honda is rolling out a 100 Million dollar campaign for a new car aimed at thirty-somethings who consider themselves adventurous/spontaneous but can't really afford something like a luxury S.U.V. and it might be a perfect campaign to tie this light bulb into, at least it would be the perfect demographic, in terms of age.

Also, and this is just an idea: what if we found out what video games are being released in the third quarter and maybe pitched the idea of having our light bulb make an appearance in the video game at some certain level of completion; like, you get to a dark cave, let's say, if it's an adventure game, and if you have enough points you can get the light bulb - and it would be our light bulb, obviously - and then it's easier to see in the cave. The other thing is this: worst-case scenario the light bulb is, in fact, burned out. Is that really the end of the world? I mean, maybe that's actually of more value to us in the long run: Picture this for voice over: "The light bulb is dead. . . but the legend lives on. . . re-released, re-mastered, revealed. . . the light bulb. . . IN STORES NOW." It almost makes more sense than taking the time changing it, plus, if it's dead we can sell it without dealing with it, you know what I mean? No demands from it, no hotels, no road expense, no delays in the project from its end, etc. But, like I said, I'm just thinking off the top of my head here, just brainstorming, and none of this is written in stone. But the first thing we should do is figure out how we want to handle this, because the light bulb's manager is a total nightmare and we're going to have to take a meeting and listen to him sooner or later, and we should know what our plan is before we sit down with him. And let me tell you right now that the first thing out of his mouth is going to be, "This light bulb should be the brightest light bulb in the world, and it could be the brightest light bulb in the world, but you need to support the light bulb, you need to give the light bulb TV ads, you need to be more active in giving the light bulb tour support, we need to have some promotion from your end!" and on and on. And in that meeting, if you're in it, the only answer from our side should be that we're obviously very excited to be working with the light bulb, that we don't think it needs to be changed, that the only problem is people haven't seen how bright the light bulb could be, and our plan is to do everything we can to make this light bulb happen.

I'll send out an email to everyone before the meeting to remind people of our position on this, but the bottom line is we don't have the budgets right now, and basically we need to see something happening with the light bulb before we go throwing good money after bad, but obviously we can't have the light bulb's manager hearing that. I can tell you all that I'm personally very excited to be working with the light bulb, I think it will light up very brightly, and we're not going to stop working the light bulb, in whatever ways budgets will permit, until it does, in fact, light up very brightly. . . the light bulb is a very big priority for us from the top of the company to the bottom. Period. We can talk more about this when I am back from Barbados next week, and I'm going to need everybody's help on this. I know we can do it, but we need everybody working hard.

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And, by the way -- I know that good PR / marketing requires that you have a story, but this is off the charts.

Carl Wilson astutely points out that "the entertainment business's version of whoring remains a hair's breadth away from the literal version"...

Which is true, I think... though I hope it doesn't change how you view the album ad with which I began this post!

1 comment:

John Nastos said...