J SHOCK U.S. Debut Campaign

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The new label JSHOCK DD LLC formed to distribute American releases of Japanese rock music. JSHOCK signed as their debut artists the internationally known D’espairsRay and newcomer band, The Underneath.

JSHOCK required marketing and promotion for their American re-release of D’espairsRay’s album, MIRROR and tour DVD, SPIRAL STAIRCASE #15, in addition to the release of The Underneath’s first album, MOON FLOWER. This presented multiple challenges, including: marketing a new artist on a new label; promoting disks to a digital-download-oriented community; promoting releases from a fan-favorite artist to consumers who often already owned the imports; and expanding the target market to include mainstream music fans. EINSOF Marketing Group was brought on as the marketing campaign management team.

Due to the newness of JSHOCK, our promotional efforts not only sought to support the artists and releases, but also to develop the label’s identity.

Rather than promote each artist independently, we branded the Underneath and D’espairsRay as JSHOCK debut artists, and paired them in all promotional activities to encourage D’espairsRay fans to bring their devotion to the Underneath. This methodology also increased interest in the overall plans and identity of JSHOCK, inspired new fans to develop brand loyalty to the label, and encouraged long-term support of both artists and all of the label’s future activities.

Being that we had an expert understanding of the target market, we planned an integrated niche marketing and publicity campaign that specifically focused on the Japanese rock music community within the United States.

With both bands placed on over thirty U.S. tour dates with the ROCKSTAR Taste of Chaos tour, we chose to frame our marketing campaign around the tour.

Working together with several vendors, we put together a very expansive campaign strategy that aggressively promoted their appearances and releases through numerous channels.

Our goal was to introduce as many new fans to the bands as possible through expansive exposure,  engage current fans, and grow the fanbase. From offline street team campaigning at all tour dates, pop culture conventions, and concert venues, to online campaigning, we did it all.

Using data collected from previous market research efforts on, we knew that our target audience was widely dispersed geographically, heavy users of the internet, and were less likely to purchase English-language magazines or print goods. Armed with that knowledge, we began the campaign with an e-mail blast to over 300,000 recipients, all of whom would be potential (or were already existing) fans of Japanese music and culture. Using guerrilla tactics and an army of eager fans, we drove traffic through social media channels to a campaign micro-site packed with awesome freebies and downloads. The site encouraged visitors to enroll in both the mailing list and join the street team for prizes, band merch, and other incentives. We also narrowed down websites our niche market visited, placing ads and securing press everywhere we felt we might encounter our target audience.

Offline, we ran press and public relations to set up publicity events, autograph signings, and meet and greets, cross-branded with Tokyo Pop, F.Y.E., and Hot Topic. Through our partners, we created and placed ads, both on television and radio, and ran special promotional events and panel discussions at pop culture conventions across the country. Our street teams pounded the pavements nationwide, attended Japanese pop culture conventions, and gave out thousands of flyers, posters, and other promotional materials.


I personally was responsible for liaising with the client and vendors, as well as running lead on the entire campaign, seeing it through from ideation through strategic planning, to execution and wrap-up. I managed our interdisciplinary team of 25 marketers, publicity coordinators, event coordinators, web and graphic designers, and interns.

Through the collective efforts of EINSOF Marketing Group and our team of vendors, we were able to secure a very high level of exposure for the artists, which was crucial for their future development goals in the United States.


Along with one of our partners, we serviced over 245 media outlets, which resulted in:

– 4 magazine covers, including AP Magazine
– 31 news placements including Star Tribune, Asbury Park Press, Alternative Press,, and Blabbermouth
– 6 magazine features, including Purple Sky Magazine, PopJNeo, and Las Vegas Weekly
– 26 webzine features, including ongoing coverage at,, and DiNG Something
– 4 radio station placements, including ongoing promotions and airplay at Tainted Reality, Shibuya Airwaves, and The Witching Hour, WCHZ 95
– television coverage by Fuse and Label Network TV
– music videos running on Much Music, MTV2
– commercials running on MTV2, Adult Swim, Spike TV


20 different banners were used in a banner campaign, generating in a total of 488,133 impressions by the end of the campaign. Our average clickthrough rate was 12.4%.

According to research firms such as Jupiter Research, the average online banner clickthrough rate (CTR) is 0.5%. Being that our CTR was 12.4%, we saw incredible success in our online banner strategy.


358 street team members in the United States and Canada participated in our campaign, distributing almost 30,000 flyers and 300 posters.

We also attended 11 special events, including 8 pop culture conventions, distributing 23,150 fliers.




Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Street Team Marketing, Email Marketing, Publicity & PR, Video & Radio Ads, Publicity Events, In-Store Events, Strategic Cross-Branding