With the remnants of Friday nights amazing gig at Bush Hall, Shepherds Bush, London still buzzing around in my head I thought it would be quite the right time to put pen to paper and pull together a recommendation from this experience.
Firstly my recommendation does partially come from previous experience having grown up with Supergrass, with classic lines such as “We are young, we are free we’ve got teeth there so clean”. However, my exposure to Mr Coombes’ new adventure was purely by coincidence. Surfing through new pages on Facebook I happened across a newly launched site for Here Come the Bombs, recommended from a friends ‘Like’ .
My journey started by initially checking out the Facebook page which was consistently branded with the group’s logo and initial album artwork concepts, with links to initial videos hosted on a branded YouTube channel (essential for the music industry with the availability of streaming to portable devices). If you haven’t seen these already I love the typographical simplistic approach to these videos, check out Hot Fruit (their initial single) and Subdivider.
Giving it no thought I carried on my usual business occasionally checking my home feed and getting initial drip-feed posts for the current content available, so no major movement. At this point I should say a Twitter feed was used in parallel to Facebook to help maximise coverage and add live stream updates into the process.
Around April the band really started engaging with users offering sneak peak samples and obviously started to hit the road, dates were being released first through social media to those already following which wasn’t that many at this point. Being curious I booked a ticket and sat back to watch the social content online grow and grow which in turn bought more followers and more engagement. Looking back its clear to see that nearly every post had likes and comments, my particular favourite being the letter of complaint (was it a windup?!).
Every gig had a pre-gig talk with the group with updates and feed responses on Facebook and Twitter, which I have to admit, was fantastic the night I went as I was able to check in on the band’s progress as I was running late due to traffic. Post gig had live pictures from fans and from PR live online by the next day, allowing pins on Pinterest to help channel traffic through to the central Facebook Page. The group were already gigging before the album was released a popular move with new launch groups, to bang the drum and get support, however, social media was really helping to retain and develop this support.
Leveraging the use of good press is still an important factor also to utilise a digital presence that has very good standing in search is also a very good idea. Gaz and the Bombs were able to get a live slot with the Guardian to help support the launch, this went viral very quickly (as it was an amazing live performance, which always helps). This was followed up with an exclusive live album stream on the Guardian using Soundcloud a great way to get listeners, likes and live feedback on the feed.
Recent developments have been the individualisation (branding) of the different social platform, however, still sitting under an overall brand theme. Facebook has used different banners to advertise unique posts, most recently offering fans the chance to sign-up and be in the next music video, such a great offer that got immediate impact.
All the while this social media content torrent was occurring, behind the scenes targeted social media advertising across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube was being maximised. The support of gazcoombes.com (the leads official website) helped support this launch campaign, however, the focus and energy has been invested in social media.
Again this has shown the gravity of using free social media facilities in an integrated approach alongside traditional channels to help successfully launch a product. Here are some of the key elements to highlight from this campaign:
- Teaser Launch
- Consistent digital branded platform, individualised as the campaign progressed
- Well established focus site (gazcoombes.com) to support all campaign areas
- Focus on developing engagement with fans
- Regular and popular content posts, live feeds pre and post gig, post-gig content available within 24 hours making feed very up-to-date
- Good engagement between group and end user
- Targeted social media advertising used to support content development approach
- Important offerings (sign-up and be in the next music video/exclusive album stream on guardian) to get fans engaged and behind the group
- Digital PR chosen with well known and digitally popular sites (Guardian)
So business cap now off, my experience from by chance, to now avid fan of this launch album and group I can relay my personal recommendations. Having listened to the live stream, purchased a digital copy via iTunes and now purchased on vinyl (at the gig) I can safely say that I haven’t stopped listening to the album with its balance of rocking riffs, elegant vocals and amazing lyrics combined to make a truly amazing listen which demonstrates continued creative development from the former Supergrass front man.