Saturday, August 31, 2013

Flashmobs and Miley Cyus

I  said this last week when it happened and wanted to repost Ken Davenport's blog on it.  Detour marketing. Interruption marketing.  Don't think that I am above that idea for theatres.  I mean...technically...isn't that what a "flashmob" is? A story sells. And that is why I like the final sentence. 

What Miley Cyrus can teach us about marketing.- ken davenport

In case you’ve been living under a rock, that’s under a rock, that’s under a mountain of rocks, you have probably heard that Miley Cyrus turned some heads on Sunday night with a bizarro, sexually-charged-and-teddy-bear-infused performance at MTV’s Video Music Awards.
It’s been the talk of just about every town since then.  Was it appropriate?  Was it inappropriate?
And was it any good?
Me?  Well, I just thought it was weird and awkward.  I didn’t think she sounded good.  I didn’t think she twerked good (that was grammatically incorrect on purpose, by the way – saying “I didn’t think she twerked well” just sounds ridiculous).
And as a straight (and recently engaged (!)) dude, I didn’t even find it all that sexy.
It was just . . . twerkin’ weird.
But that doesn’t seem to matter in the slightest to Miley’s career.
She did what so many others have done, and on the same television program, no less.  She hijacked the conversation.  The talk of the entertainment town world isn’t about the VMAs, it’s about Miley, and her debutante ball as an adult woman performer, albeit a weird one.
If her performance on the awards show was a commercial (and, by the way, it was one – in the same way that a Broadway show’s performance on the Tony Awards is a commercial), it would be a perfect example of “interruption marketing.”  It immediately slapped you in the face, woke you up from the drone-like slumber you were in from everything else you were looking at and . . . like a 5th grade joke . . . “made you look!”
I call this type of marketing “Detour Marketing” myself.   Imagine consumers traveling down their same ol’ roads, day in and day out . . . and then up comes a bright orange sign (or a half naked twenty year old and a giant effin’ Teddy Bear) . . . and you’re off in an entirely other direction.
And if that detour is a good one . . . you’ll think and talk about nothing else for awhile.
And was Miley’s detour a good one?  Well, it generated 300k tweets per minute.  To put that in contrast, last year’s Super Bowl blackout only brought in 230k.
Perhaps your show could benefit from a little detour?  Cuz, all press is good press, I guess, right?
No, not exactly.  I wouldn’t take Anthony Weiner’s press.  And I wouldn’t like to be the Syrian Government right about now either.
But controlled and smart detour marketing . . . in an environment that is known for those kind of detours (like the VMAs) . . . might be exactly what makes Miley a star long into her adult years.
Although I predict a Britney/Lindsay/Amanda type burnout along the way.
Which will get her even more press.  Right before her comeback.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Focus on: Shaina Arsenault


Back to school for everyone and this super busy young lady is a junior at Foran High school in Milford.  She's won award after award for public service and leadership, in fact I just nominated her for another one with the Association of Fund Raising professionals and am writing a recommendation for her for Honor Society.
Another day, another volunteer award 

She's on our NPT Youth Board and has made a huge contribution and commitment even though her ballet and school schedule is jam packed.  She dances principal roles with New England Ballet and is a beautiful person inside and out.
Shaina as Dew drop with New England Ballet

While she is artistically talented, this smart lady wants to major in Hospitality Management at Cornell so any of you with connections there please let me know.  She wants to own her own hotel and spa and I bet she will.

I couldn't be more proud to always recommend and write letters for this up and coming leader.  Examples of her dancing, her graphic design work for NPT and her singing lessons with me are in this blog.

voice lessons

not a template...she designed this

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Focus On: Kara Burgess


Getting back to teaching at the colleges this week and decided to start a new thing today.  Calling it Focus On: and I will feature a student that I think is really doing the work.  A student I would or have recommended for shows, parts and work.  

Certainly, we chose colleges often for the connections they can make for us and I am always happy to make those connections for my best students in or out of college.  After 20 some years in the business and now also on the other side of the desk you would be surprised how many contacts you assess.  I also get calls from folks who see my name on someone's resume and want to know how that person is to work with, just proving that it's not only talent that gets you hired, it's your attitude and your professionalism.

So my first FOCUS ON: is Kara Burgess.
 Kara just left for James Madison University as a freshman this year.  She was a voice and then later, voice and piano, student of mine since she was in sixth grade.  A beautiful young lady who has so much potential that I hope James Madison will see and tap into.

She was in a PBS series with me last year called "Young American Heroes" and did a wonderful job with her "film" acting style. So simple and honest. And she looked great on film.   Since she rides horses, she actually co-starred her horse Louis in this period piece.  I played her mom.  :)

From a supportive family, Kara is certain to be a success and I am proud to have been her teacher for so many years.


Thursday, August 22, 2013 and NPT

Did an interview recently for the Bob Hagan show on  that came out really well in terms of jamming a ton of things into it.  lol.

While I was there I got to meet Jonathan and Ed (the CEO and COO) and pitched the idea of having the youth board do a show or a web package each month. They accepted the proposal and the youth invited them to their board meeting last weekend to be the professional guests.

The kids are getting to do it all from camera work to writing to reporting to editing with the guidance of Jon and Ed.  The topics they will cover are on Kids making a difference in Connecticut.

It's rolling folks!  Great PR for the youth board and for NPT.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Oyster Fest 2013


This past weekend was the Oyster Fest in Milford.  Last year we did it and hadn't yet formed the Youth Board, but the idea was born at that time.  Now we have a nine person Teen Youth board made up of youths from New Haven to Stamford who have many projects coming up.

We had a great turnout at the Oyster Fest and the gang was led by Lisa LaRusso again as the Teen advisor mom and face painting artist extraordinaire.  Thanks also to Lynn Vetare (on our Adult Board of Directors) for her help the entire day of Oyster Fest as well!
Happy customers!

Some of the teens were awesome face painters too and the others were great at "marketing and PR" showing our choices book to many kids and making a great impression on the huge crowd walking by.   Our total raised this year (faces were $5) was much more as we had more artists painting and helping out.

Lisa Painting
Nate with "choices"
UPCOMING approved projects for them are:  

1. Their own WEBSHOW packages with  (the TV guys are going to mentor them and teach them how to be broadcasters and reporters as well as running the cameras and editing their stories.  The "Stories" they will cover are about kids making a difference in the community)  It will also be GREAT PR for NPT.

2. "So Ya Wanna be a Broadway star" concerts at The Watermark every quarter starting in Oct. This is a retirement home with very astute and professional retirees....and a great auditorium with a grand piano.   I teach a class there monthly and we came up with the idea of having a "concert" for the seniors/a chance for anyone in the area to perform with our pro accompanist and get feedback from me and a SENIOR judge/ fund raiser for NPT)

3. Board meetings monthly with professional guests. This Sunday it was the TV guys from It's Relevant.

4. Sunday Spotlights (free webinars)  starting again in the Fall with professional guests from the Entertainment Industry. The Teens produce this and host it.  My friends from Broadway/film and TV participate as the guests being interviewed. Any person can join us every other Sunday night.
Example last year with Broadway star Randy Graff    (tony award winner)

The Youth Board is also voting in new members (being highly selective) and forming committees to help with all these activities.

Again, for me, it all boils down to being a teacher.  Of course the Broadway experience and a professional theatre life would come into play, but who knew that my NBC experience as a reporter so long ago would integrate? That our Internet business would teach me how to host webinars and to use a business sense for the Arts.

It's exciting when it all funnels together and the Youth Board is a great outlet for it!

Video of the face painting!