Guster Turns Video Production Over To Fans

GusterPop/Rock band Guster are helping promote the October 5 release of their new CD Easy Wonderful with a fan-produced video contest.  The band is producing a video for all 12 songs on this release and posting to the video page of their website … well, except for the video for Track #6, “Bad Bad World,” which they’re leaving up to their fans. 

This is a great way to get their fanbase interested and involved with their new music; however, by instructing would-be-music-producers to just email their video for the band to privately judge, Guster has missed out on a fantastic marketing opportunity with potential exposure to a new audience previously unfamiliar with the band..  User Generated Content such as this can be a very powerful marketing tool, and great additional content to drive web traffic.  In the case of Guster, simply by allowing fans to determine the contest winner instead of behind closed doors …

  • Their contest, their music, would be widely promoted by entrants to their friends, blogs, forums, Facebook, and other social networks.
  • In addition to exposing new music to contest entrants, their friends will be exposed to new music (possibly first time exposure to the band) in order to vote for someone they know.
  • The band receives a collection of videos to post on their website and social networks for all their fans to enjoy.
  • By allowing producers to post their video on their own websites and social platforms, their friends and site visitors may be exposed to the band’s music for the first time and decide to check out more music.

But, what’s the incentive?  Guster’s only reward for the contest now is to be featured on their video page and receive a CD merch pack (probably a CD, tshirt, and poster).  You don’t need a big expensive prize to conduct a successful UGC contest.  Fans will participate because they find it fun, they want to feel more involved with the band/product, and to get some form of personal recognition from their own friends.  The “prize” is lagniappe.

Guster is not the first band willing to give up creative control to their fans.  In 2006, Barenaked Ladies decided to launch their Barenaked Ladies Are Me CD by encouraging fans to make the videos, design posters and t-shirts, even remix their songs.  The band made individual mix outs from songs available to remix using Garageband, ProTools, or other audio production software.  Steven Page believes it’s a great way to get their music out to the masses, “There is an expectation from the audience of interaction.  And, the biggest things online have been things that people can actually make valuable contributions to, or graffiti-ize as much as they wanted to and tear apart.” (NPR 9/15/06)

So, what are you doing to allow your fans to personalize and customize your product?  How are you leveraging user generated content to increase traffic and convert new fans?  Please share your ideas and success stories in the comments below.

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2 Responses to “Guster Turns Video Production Over To Fans”

  1. I truly love the band a lot, I love almost of their songs..!!My cousin Anna and I of course are an avid fan of the band.I could tell that their concept is pretty good.

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  1. Music Video Production – Online Video Is Reshaping The Internet - October 9, 2010

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