When National Public Radio Music reporter Frannie Kelley was recently ploughing through the voluminous press releases in her email inbox, one in particular from a little known band named Delicate Steve stopped her in her tracks. The title: “The Critics Unilaterally Concur – Delicate Steve Is A Band Who Creates Music.” The rest of the email PR continued with this same type of post-Dadaist content, stating that Delicate Steve sounded like the all guitar band My Bloody Valentine but without the guitars, and that their music “will make you the happiest person who has never lived.” This particular publicist turned out to be crazy as a fox and has laid out a template that any bar or nightclub email marketer would be well advised to emulate. Consider it a way for your bar or nightclub to be considered hipper than its own young customers!
Riveting Attention with Preposterous Non Sequiturs
The Delicate Steve emailed PR continues with say-whaaaat pearls such as: “oh, I like Led Zeppelin III, but it skews a little dumptruck,” and “the problem with those early Prince albums is that he spent too much time shopping.” Then the release proceeds to list the goals of some of the band members to seduce every female journalist they encounter, and to promote the political liberation of Quebec. The pull no punches approach continues right to the warning to the music writer recipients at the end: “most of these songs are both too musical and too insane for the typically dim-witted American consumer. In all likelihood, even you won’t understand it, because you’re probably a fraud.”
There Is Marketing Genius Hiding in This Approach
It would be simplistic to just mark this down to some publicist imbibing the Kool-Aid, but there is a perverse little bit of genius hiding in this approach. Your bar or nightclub may not be precisely comfortable being described in Delicate Steve terms as “a hydro-electric Mothra rising from the ashes of an African village burned to the ground by post-rock minotaurs,” but you can bet a keg of Bud that your youth customers would love it.
The Powerful Value of Flippant & Zany Self-Parody
This generation has been weaned on YouTube pratfalls and a profound sense of anarchic nihilism, thus they can relate far more to Mark Maron’s comedy podcast than to any conventional sales approach. Mirthful, flippant, zany or even self-parodying email newsletter content could work wonders to differentiate your bar or nightclub’s approach to youth from the rest of the mind-numbing barrage arriving daily in their email inboxes.
Engage Your Youth Audience through Travesty
The more stultified traditionalists in your management might require a defibrillator, but that is a valid response as well. Chances are that the success of your youth-oriented squib will be directly proportional to the amount of resistance you get from your personnel. The more your people will call it a travesty, the more your youth audience will see it as a travesty… and in the upside down world of the Net Generation that’s a positive.
Breaking out of the shackles of conventionalism to adopt the famous “why so serious?” line from Heath Ledger’s Joker could allow your bar or nightclub to far better relate to your in-the-know subscribers in a “fly, rap, fresh, hep, rad, phat, pimp, ROFLMAO” manner. Or in Delicate Steve terms, expressing “a truer kind of truth … the only kind of truth that cannot lie, even with the cold steel of a .357 revolver jammed inside its wet mouth, truculently demanding a random falsehood.” Whatever that means!
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