In September 2008, SUGIZO, guitarist of X Japan and LUNA SEA, embarked upon a North American tour with Juno Reactor. 18 days before the shows began, EINSOF Marketing Group was brought on to facilitate a nationwide marketing and publicity campaign.
At the time that we were brought on board, tickets had only sold 25% across all venues nationwide. If we could not find a way to create a miracle in the limited time we had, the tour most likely would lose money. With only 2.5 weeks to put together an entire campaign, we knew that we would have to be extremely aggressive with the tactics we would use in order to create the highest visibility and amplification for the tour. Because we were limited by the size of the budget, we had to come up with creative solutions to achieve maximum success.
Being that SUGIZO was enjoying a surge of popularity in the United States due to his addition to X Japan as an official member, we planned our entire campaign around SUGIZO, rebranding the tour as “SUGIZO on tour with JUNO REACTOR.” All marketing materials predominately featured his likeness in order to tap into the potential of his domestic fanbase.
Immediately, we created microsites for the tour, as well as a press-specific site, designed online banner ads, flyers, and posters, rolled out a social media campaign, began press servicing to over 200 media outlets, performed an email blast to over 10,000 J-rock music fans, and began heavy street team recruitment.
Within the initial 72 hours of the campaign roll-out, we secured press on all major Japanese pop culture sites, media advertisement sponsorships, as well as entire site-takeovers on high-traffic websites (150,000+ daily hits) such as JrockRevolution.com and JaME-World.com. In addition, sponsored radio ads ran around the clock on Shibuya Airwaves (KYCY 1550AM), Samurai Beat Radio (Tokyo FM 80.0), Tainted Reality Radio (Web), Jrock Radio (Web), and WOLR (91.3FM).
Leveraging the interest generated by our publicity and advertising campaign, which featured prominently on the websites of all major media that reported on Japanese rock, we offered promotional ticket and merchandise giveaways and contests through Five!For Magazine, J-ENT Magazine, Jrock Revolution, and JaME.
To incentivize and energize our street team, which had grown to 60 members within the first week, we offered prizes for performance. Our street teams had a two-pronged approach, taking to social media networks by storm, and to the streets in the cities SUGIZO would appear at, distributing over 5000 flyers: San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Denver, CO; Aspen, CO; Chicago, IL; and New York, NY.
Using a data-driven geotargeted marketing approach, we focused the heaviest bulk of our efforts on San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. Partnering with Kinokuniya Bookstores in San Francisco and New York, as well as Anime Jungle in Los Angeles, we hosted autograph signing events for fans.
We used these events as opportunities to sell SUGIZO-related merchandise we had designed for the tour, alongside his own albums and Juno Reactor’s most recent release, requiring fans to purchase at least one piece of merchandise in exchange for autographs from SUGIZO and other Juno Reactor members. To amplify the events, we brought in radio partners to conduct live on-air interviews (Shibuya Airwaves in San Francisco; Samurai Beat Radio in New York City).
Our efforts to reach fans, engage them, and get them excited about seeing “SUGIZO on tour with Juno Reactor” generated overwhelming interest in SUGIZO and Juno Reactor.
Even though we only had one week to track our online banners, we had phenomenal results, with 65,275 media impressions. Notably, our click-through rate (CTR) weighed in at 26.692%, while the national CTR average during 2008 was only 0.09%. In effect, our online ad strategy was 296.58 times more successful than the national average.
Our publicity strategy resulted in 197 press placements, 15 feature interviews, 5 media sources dedicated to ongoing coverage, 3 major media site takeovers, 3 on-air radio interviews, and 1 live show broadcast. Meanwhile, our publicity partner for the tour secured live televised performances on Fearless Music, broadcasted on FOX 5 in New York City.
By targeting SUGIZO’s domestic fanbase, we were able to tap a market that previously would not have gone to see Juno Reactor live. But due to our promotional efforts, thousands of fans come out to see SUGIZO live on tour.
Thanks to our efforts, we raised ticket sales by 50%, bringing the national ticket sale average to 75%.
SUGIZO, Juno Reactor, Kurfirst-Blackwell Entertainment
Event Planning, Event Marketing, Email Marketing, Online Marketing, Street Team Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Publicity & PR, Web Design, Graphic Design, Cross-Marketing, Sponsorship Acquisition, Partnership Acquisition, Merchandising