Monday, December 14, 2009

Real World Band Promotion

This isn't a glamorous post, but it is some real world advice on how to get your band or the band you are promoting the best exposure possible. This might be more technical than you want to wade through, but just a skim through will give you some good pointers.

I have produced marketing materials on the venue-side of show promotion in Dallas off and on for over 12 years. This includes small venues like Trees and Gypsy Tea Room to larger independents the likes of The Bronco Bowl and The Longhorn Ballroom up to large corporate venues such as Nokia Theater, House of Blues Houston & Dallas, Center and the New Cowboys Stadium. I have seen band art show up in a word document all the way to 20 different sizes for 3oh3! (which were all pretty much unusable).

The key to getting your show promoted properly is to make it easy for the venues. If your art sucks and is difficult to handle, odds our you will get minimal exposure and have a sea of empty seats instead of adoring fans.

So here are some guidelines from an expert.

#1 Is your band logo legible. Maybe your buddy designed some hand drawn artwork that looks awesome on a poster, but 3/8" on a line listing it will look like someone squashed a bug on the page.



#2 Keep the venue's honest. Many less-than-honest venues will have advertising in the agreement, have artwork created (by yours truly) with no intention of ever actually running it. To avoid this:
  • Tell the marketing people you want to see the Insertion Order. This is A document that specifies the dates and scope of a media buy. Used in print, online, and broadcast media.

  • Most alternative press publication have an online ad index which allows you to check up on them. (example:
#3 Squeaky wheel get's the marketing grease. More times than I can count, I have had the venue marketing person go "Hey we need to crank out some 4ups or flyers because this and such band keeps bitching". The reasons are varied, but mostly the small and large venues are up the their asses trying to get everything done or they just don't think of it. The larger venues all have street teams in place so they are a prime target for a phone call asking what they are doing to promote your upcoming shows.

#4 Get your artwork to them early. This seems obvious, but it's a common mistake. They can't run your artwork if they don't have it. And you don't want to leave it to the people in my position to create your artwork, I've got maybe three hours to get all the ads done, so your shit will get gripped and ripped off the internet and banged into the ad with little or no thought. (Unless I like your band.)

#5 Artwork sizing. This is where EVERYONE screws up. Most ad mats come to me built at 10"x13" which is perfect if your show will be promoted as full page ad in Rolling Stone. But it won't be. Your ad, unless you are AC/DC or Paul McCartney will be a quarter pager probably running in a Village Voice Publication along with web advertising if you're lucky. This is the very specific/boring part of this article, but probably the most important.

Provide the venue with:

10"x11.5" Full Page*
4.917"x5.6" Quarter Page
4"x6" Postcard (with bleed)
11"x17" Poster*

Web (no more than 2 rotations)

300x250 pixels (less than 35k)
728x90 pixels (less than 35k)
160x600 pixels (less than 40k)*
110x80 pixels facebook ad (less that 12k-no rotation)*
*not mandatory, but a good idea.

#6 File Formats. Your best bet is to build everything in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator and use well-labeled layers whenever possible. Also accommodate for the fact that every venue has a logo so a line of type isn't going to cut it.

That's all I gots. I hope this helps some of you out there.

No comments: