If you like Marketing, go take a look at Rockstar Supernova


Social Media Tools are a strong tool set especially for musicians, but not all of them get this yet. Some others do – MSN Rockstar Supernova is a step towards this while for example Dave Navarro really embraces it.

Don’t know him? Well, if at all, most people probably know him as the ex husband of Carmen Electra, and Tommy Lee is more the ex husband to Pamela Anderson to me than anything else. Well, until recently that was.

As most of you know I may be ‘living’ more in the american podos-/blogosphere but with one big disadvantage: no US TV. Unless it comes over here (which is highly unlikely). And when, in awful dubbing.

So it took me a moment to realize why a comment on a blog about Rockstar Supernova made my brain go “hm?”. The phrase used was “… worldwide voting …”. Wait a second – how’s that?

Well, Rockstar Supernova is not only a reality TV show where some old rock guys (Gilby Clarke, ex tour Gun’s and Roses, Jason Newsted, ex-Metallica and Tommy Lee, Motley Crue) wanna get a new fresh voice to their newly formed band Supernova, it is also in interesting experiment in world wide marketing.

If you don’t know it is like American Idol just with more sex and rock. And more guys wearing make up. And tattoos. And the contestants actually can write their own songs. So it is like American Idol just with real talent.

It is not only featured wildly on Youtube (as usual), it is also featured prominently on MSN under Rockstar Supernova. On which you can watch reality webisodes, the performances of the show and elimination show and some video statements (like confession and fashion).

So what is different and why do I even care as I actually don’t like guitars, nor hard rock aka Schrammelmusik?

Because for starters *I* can watch it, even being in Germany because it is put online. I also can vote, because it is not only open to some phone lines in the US but also from here through web voting and (if I would use it) MSN Messenger.

Which of course all would not matter if not the show actually was fun to watch – you can skip the performances if you don’t like them and just go to the commenting judges. Some of the performances were painful, but now the competition has got so close that every show is really good. And there really have been some “memorable performances”.

Besides the actual show, I am thrilled to see the steps taken for marketing while at the same time shake my head about some parts they still do not get right.

Part of what makes it good is already listed above and if you click around a bit on the site, you will for example see that every contestant has an MSN Live Space Blog and it is plugged throughout the show.

Also MSN is making you get an ID in their system so you are able to comment on the blogs of the contestant; as well as encouraging you to start a blog about your supernova stars. There is a contest for them as well – make the best fan page and do get some tickets to the finale.

I usually hate flash, but it does make a lot of sense here.

Now what is bad on the site? I cannot understand why only performances are put online – com’on! We want to see the good stuff too!

But my biggest criticism would be the advertisement between the segments of the online videos. You are likely to go through the whole 4-6 pieces and you will get only two different advertisements. One big long honda add (30 seconds) which makes you tune down the sound once it starts because it is just soooooo not the audience (a guy writing to his wife how he misses her while being out with the boys – very good if you target daddies in the 40s. how many of them watch the show and especially go online?).

Now the Verizon promoting is a bit more clever: The contestant get to download video messages by the judges through Vcast as well as get songs etc. It is plugged throughout the show but in an okay way.

They also have a more clever advertisement between the online segments: Presenting some kind of windows mobile device in a 15 second spot. It is fast pace and also different features pop up as text. You need to watch a lot of them to start getting bored because you do not find something new. The honda add? 2 times and I was done with it.

So what beside the obvious good and bad is interesting?

Those rockers are quite clever. Using this show to get not only a front singer but also pure advertisement over several weeks leading up to their world tour is not bad to get. They have recently started doing songs with some of the contestant, already testing out the crowd. They seem like clever business men who also love to party.

I have not checked all the pages surrounding them, but in most you will find the usual webstuff. While the contestant have their new supernova blogs (and most of them also their own website), they do not seem to really grasp the power they could have through this.

Although Dave Navarro tries to tell them about it in every show.

See, Dave is special. He could be considered just the male beauty on the judge bench (as counterpart to Brooke Burk, she is just voice over, presenter and eye candy, whereas Dave actually does give comments for the performances), but he also is a musician with a history with Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

As I got interested in the show and catched up with the links on the page I also landed on the male eye candy’s website. And you know what? Dave actually knows what he is doing there.

Not only does he have a blog where he gives out commentary to the current show (be warned to not read a current thread as it will reveal who goes home in week 9), but also an internet radio station called spreadradiolive, chat, ecards, videos, pictures and – you guessed it, a myspace page. One for his new band of course as well. (Second Life is missing, but that will probably follow some day *g*).

This is how you get in contact with your fans and possible buyers today. Right on the money. There are already so many people online writing about the show, the band, the contestants … it is not just the media anymore. So, when will there be a “new media clinic”? ;)

Oh yes and in case you wondered:
I think that Storm as well as Ryan are better off as solo artist. Lukas is too goth for the guys, but could fit in the band. Delana? Well, a chick would bring in more fans and she seems to have a good enough voice for it. Magni? Sorry boring. And my favorite?

Well. I always had a soft spot for the accent from down under AND I think Toby has presented in the last shows that he is more a band singer than a solo artist in this project. EVS! ;)

Oh and btw, this page claims to know the winner already. Interestingly the take most of the commenters have is “pick a girl and you will have more fan boys in there” or “pick a guy and you will have more gay fans in it”. hm? The band may have put their eyes on who they like, and that is who they are keeping in the contest, but I still think they will keep it wide open till – only at the end – they will have to choose. Before, it really does not matter.

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2 Responses to “If you like Marketing, go take a look at Rockstar Supernova”

  1. Scott says:

    > one big disadvantage: no US TV

    That’s a disadvantage? Seriously?

  2. Nicole says:

    Well let me rephrase that:
    Not living there and not having Tivo.

    There are a lot of TV Shows I cannot access or only much later when they come out on DVD. Most of them are crap, for sure, but there are also serious I like. :)