Red Hot Chili Peppers at Bonnaroo: Marketing Brilliance

I turned on YouTube the other night to catch the Red Hot Chili Peppers taking the stage at Bonnaroo. In fact, I turned it on a few minutes early and watched the stage hands finish up prepping the equipment. But what caught my eye and hopefully the eyes of millions of people watching around the world were the two screens on either side of the main stage.

Imagine the darkest night with only a few flashlights on an almost imperceptible stage. But then like a sun in blackness, two red billboards shown out over the crowd. Both said “Buy and download tonight’s concert, go to”. And history is made.

In a couple blog posts I made last year about ways music arts could start list building, I described what the Red Hot Chili Peppers are now doing. Take thousands of raving fans and give them an opportunity to own their memory in .mp3 for the price of a few dollars plus your contact information. Absolutely brilliant!

If you’re going to be on stage playing for a couple hours, why you not “repurpose” that work into a live album? And what a great way to just get your superfans on your list. Remember Bonnaroo is a music festival featuring hundreds of acts. So you know your audience likes music, but they may not be there for you.

It’s the converts and the true fans then that actually go to the webpage and buy the music. Out of thousands rise your audience. . . all on their own.

Look. . . just because you’re not the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing at Bonnaroo doesn’t mean you can’t take this idea for your own. Whether it’s repurposing what you’re doing, becoming the expert on stage, or list building at a live event – you can do it. Just like the Red Hot Chili Peppers did. . . . think to yourself. . . what can you do for your audience?

(And don’t think “selling a live album” is not serving because it is. Wouldn’t you love to have captured some of your favorite moments to replay again and again and again? That’s what they’re providing.)