Thanks to Brittney Farrow at Lightning 100.1 FM (WRLT), owned by Tuned In Broadcasting in Nashville. Britney tells us how she scored a big win for MillerCoors, local musicians, and of course her radio station.
(By Brittney Farrow) MillerCoors is a client of mine, and as we all know moving product is their main goal with marketing. So when they approached us three years ago to help them produce Road to Roo (a battle of the bands to play Bonnaroo) in the Nashville market, we wanted to figure out how to reach the client’s goals while helping Nashville’s community of local musicians and using our platform to create an experience they wouldn’t have in other markets.
We created a very successful program that moved around the city to multiple MillerCoors accounts, sold a lot of beer, and had a great response. We’ve had over 250 band submissions each year and each of the rounds has had an attendance of 150-300 people. We were also able to locally promote the partnership between Bonnaroo/MillerCoors/Lightning 100 via radio, in the community and through socials. All while giving local musicians another platform to shine.
But I wanted more for everyone involved. This year we convinced the client to let us take over the whole state, instead of just the Nashville market, so we could really ramp up the events and promote things on a larger scale. With content being king, I saw an opportunity for MillerCoors to use these events to show their global following how they are a part of the “music scene” and support local artists. I also saw that we could create a bigger platform for local musicians by connecting them with MillerCoors’ and Bonnaroo’s huge online following.
We included a Live Stream in this year’s package which we streamed on Facebook. We were lucky enough to have Bonnaroo share the link (and will work on MillerCoors in 2019!) We were also diligent about making sure that bands involved were promoting these events and sharing the links for the Live Stream. In the end of our our events, we had over 600,000 impressions, 2,400 votes, and one very happy client. Plus we were able to get more exposure for the 32 bands that competed in the program. And by bringing the whole program in-house, we were able to give bands from all over the state a chance to compete, not just certain areas and created a more consistent program. Not bad for a small, independent local radio station?
Radio Ink: How did you convince the client to allow you to take over the entire state?
Brittney Farrow: We asked for it. In year two of Road to Roo the other market in Tennessee that was hosting was having trouble pulling it together. MillerCoors actually reached out and asked if we could help them get their contests up and running. Of course, we did and that led my team to the idea of taking on the whole event. But I also think two years of success and innovation helped them have the confidence in us to pull it off.
The Lightning 100 team takes events very seriously and we recapped after each event and “season.” We would make notes of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Even down to “DJs to be advanced stage announcements so it’s more natural instead of a list” (I literally just pulled that from the recap notes of 2018). I think this attention to detail is what sets us apart from the rest. Every year we sit down as a team, review the previous year’s notes, and then figure out how we can expand. From there, I work on the RFP and cover letter. It’s working together as a team instead of me coming in to tell promotions and programming what we are doing. If everyone is on board from the beginning, your chance of success skyrockets.
Radio Ink: How effective was the live stream and did the client really understand that aspect of the promotion when you pitched it?
Brittney Farrow: Crazy good! We had a reach on Facebook of 220,000+ for this campaign. Again, this was a learning process for us too. We had used the livestream feature for a couple of other events, but this was definitely the biggest campaign we used it for. While the main focus for us was to drive traffic to the venue and push product for MillerCoors – we saw this as an opportunity to really highlight how MillerCoors supports local musicians and give local bands another platform to be discovered.
I know the client knew what live streaming was but I don’t think they fully understood the impact we could make with it, but they trusted us enough to invest in it anyways. One hiccup we did run into was getting the content shared on the client’s socials. (Again, another learning curve which made it on the recap notes to improve on in 2019.) Brands take their social platforms very serious, as they should, but we needed to start the conversation about simulcasting on their socials much sooner to make it happen. That is a big focus for 2019! Just a simple share on their end would work wonders for these local musicians.
Radio Ink: How big a role did social media play in making this successful?
Brittney Farrow: This is huge! And even more so this year. Typically, Road to Roo winners are decided by votes from the crowd and a panel of judges. So it’s an incentive for local bands to get their fans out and vote, but with taking over the entire state we needed to even the playing field for bands that didn’t call Nashville home. So we included another element to voting – texting. We promoted this on our socials and had the bands do the same. The end result was over a half a million impressions on socials for Road to Roo 2018!
Radio Ink: How did the bands make out after the event concluded? Were they happy?
Brittney Farrow: The Foxies were the 2018 champions and killed it at Bonnaroo! MillerCoors actually followed them to Roo and filmed a short segment about them and posted it to their Youtube account. It’s such an incredible experience and opportunity for these local bands to be highlighted by the huge platform created by these two mega brands. Don’t just take my word for it, see what The Foxies had to say here.
Reach out to Brittney and congratulate her on this killer advertiser success story at [email protected]