Social Media 101 – Take What You’ve Got and Use Social Networks to Elevate It

Addrenaline Introduces UK Band Schwab Through Social Media

In between bands at a concert on Toronto Island this summer I heard a track I loved.  It had a raunchy guitar riff that was simple and bold, and had a groove that was undeniable.  I had never heard the song before and had to get it.

I spent the next day previewing song after song on iTunes in hopes of tracking it down, but I couldn’t find it. 

Then along came this summer’s Ford Fiesta commercial.  I saw the commercial for the first time two days after the concert and had found my song… but I had no way to get it, and no idea who the band was. 

I checked the usual channels, a youtube search of “Ford Fiesta Commercial” turned up nothing, which surprised me.  Finally I found a clue on UK music site bandcamp.com – the band that recently “got” a song on a ford commercial was Schwab – previously known for a track that was on the It’s All Gone Pete Tong movie soundtrack called DJs In A Row.

I was able to search for the band and found they at least had a MySpace page – that was it though – and it had 6000 views over 4 years.  They were literally non-existent in social media circles (or on the web for that matter as their site had been hacked).  I contacted the band through the page and pitched Addrenaline’s plan for global domination.

Getting started

Our first step was getting the track up on YouTube as audio only.  If I was trying to find that song surely other like-minded folks were too.  Within eight hours of posting the track (which we titled: Schwab Mole Man – Canadian Ford Fiesta Commercial) we had 1200 views.  This was achieved without any advertising, promotion or assistance – just knowing what an audience was looking to find.

Because of the song’s exposure in the commercial, people across Canada were after that song and also the band.  By including the words “commercial” and “Ford” in our title we threw a net around those searchers and reeled them in.  We were able to track the YouTube geographic visits and pinpoint countries where the commercial was airing.  It was a Canada-only commercial when produced but made its way around the world.

The next step:  Make Money and Reach More People

We developed the platform schwabmob.com and linked our YouTube post to this site.  Visitors could do a few simple things: hear the song, buy the song, join Schwab on youtube, facebook and myspace – that was it.

To date our youtube posting is approaching 50,000 views from around the globe.  By tracking the shipping address of those who bought the instant download through paypal we could quite literally monitor where Ford (and their agency) had decided to air the commercial.  What started out as a Canada-only piece moved on to air during Wimbledon on all NBC affiliates, then air in the UK, Asia and South America.

Why us?

We are a small company in the grand scheme (when compared to Coke, Ford, and Microsoft) but why did it take “the little engine that could” (us) to do this properly?  Ford’s agency is irresponsible for not getting that commercial posted to youtube prior to its first airing and making sure they owned the rights to the song.

The song The Mole Man could have become their exclusive property for much less than I bet Ford would imagine, they could have leveraged the song on the Fiesta website and made that groove synonymous with their brand.  Instead they followed traditional channels and were left behind.  They should have used a bit of intelligence and social media wherewithal to “own” this campaign.

Lucky for Schwab perhaps, they now still own the rights to the song, we made the song available on iTunes in addition to schwabmob.com, and they are still reaping the benefits of the commercial which is still airing regularly around the world.

You don’t have to be big to succeed, just nimble and responsive – we were able to make the most of an opportunity with simple common sense.

- KH