You can take the boy out of marketing, but…
Well, you know the rest.
Beau Phillips is an accomplished rock radio programmer, a network executive. an entrepreneur, an author, and yes, a marketing wizard. One of the common traits Beau has brought to the table in every endeavor he's ever taken on is to THINK BIG.
So when he reached out to me last week to tell me about an outsized promotion he managed to pull off, I had to smile. Beau has worn a lot of hats over the years, but to his core, he's a rock n' roll animal, dating back to the glory days of stations like KISW as well as a high-profile stint at Vh1.
Beau knows radio and marketing. But most of all he is very much a student of the game who has a firm understanding for the public taste. We talked getting a degree in “pop culture” in yesterday's blog. I think of Beau Philips as the professor.
In today's post, Beau tells the story of how he's still the master of the big idea, connecting the dots, and selling even Mick Jagger on a great idea.
Check out his new blog, REVERB, where Beau offers creative solutions in a one-minute read. http://rainmakermedia.net/reverb – FJ
Fred Jacobs shows radio personalities how to take their game to the next level in this webinar recording.
When the Rolling Stones announced their No Filter tour, I noticed they were playing the Rose Bowl in Pasadena – about a mile from NASA/Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL).
Space exploration fascinates everyone, and JPL is leading NASA's 2020 mission to Mars. My wife, Laurie Cantillo, is their Deputy Director of Communications. So, I suggested she invite the band for a behind-the-scenes tour of JPL. Having worked with the Stones at VH1, I knew that they turn down 99% of requests. So, it would take something huge, clever and unprecedented.
Laurie (former PD of WABC and WTOP) is always looking for ways to promote science and the JPL brand. So, we brainstormed ideas. Having the Stones visit JPL was a security concern. So, we pivoted and proposed naming something to honor them. Something only JPL could offer. The Rolling Stones don't need money or exposure. So, we needed an idea they'd never seen. A way to immortalize them as hip & relevant, not an oldies act.
Recently, NASA's Insight spacecraft landed on Mars and filmed the image of a single rock rolling away as it descended. So, Laurie asked JPL's team of scientists if that Mars rock could be named after the Rolling Stones.
They worked their magic and found a way. Next, Laurie pitched the idea to the Stones' management, PR team and record label. I helped her navigate to the decision-makers who had Mick Jagger's ear.
Of course, NASA/JPL has tremendous prestige. So, the notion of a collaboration triggered excitement from every corner of the Stones' camp. The band wanted to announce their Rolling Stones Rock on stage at the Rose Bowl – and they asked Robert Downey Jr. to make the presentation.
“Iron Man” was beyond excited and Laurie spent the afternoon with him going over the plan. From there, the idea took on a life of its own. JPL connected with Stones fans. Robert Downey Jr. lived out his space-rock fantasy.
And Mick & the boys are now the greatest rock & roll band in the universe.
Here's what it looked like:
If there's a lesson, it's that imagination is the key. Everyone is numb to lazy contests and ticket giveaways. Entertain me.
JPL's mantra is: Dare Mighty Things – and they live it every day. For one special night, JPL, RDJ and the Stones joined together to create an “I was there” experience for 60,000 fans who turned on their phones and shared it worldwide.
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