Interview Transcript

Can you walk us through your thought process. Let’s say, you win the Rammstein budget and, like you said, you have a very mysterious brand and identity, in Rammstein. How do you curate and maintain that mystery and aura around the brand?

When we have a new client, we always work on the management and artist’s side. Our client is always management and client. We see what’s happening and what impacts are developing, over the next couple of years. That could be a record release, a tour, a ticket announcement, a new line of merchandise; anything that is important to them. Then we look at what are the channels or the goals that we want to tap into for this? What fits the band? Particularly with social media channels, it always depends on how much the band actually wants to do themselves. If they don’t want to do an Instagram story every day, that’s not a tool that I can put them onto, because I know it’s not going to happen.

What we do first, usually, is a workshop with people. Sometimes the artist is involved, sometimes not. We try to figure out how much time, especially personal time, we can get from the band. With Rammstein, it was none. They didn’t do any sort of promotion. With other bands, we can do two hours a week or we can do something. We try to lay out what the resources are, how much they want to give out from their private lives, for example, because they are celebrities, as well, in most cases. What sort of tone of voice they want to use when speaking with their fans and that’s important to lay out as a strategy framework. Then we usually come up with ideas of how to fill these channels that we have identified, with goals for everyone to achieve.

Obviously, this year in the music industry, everyone was about TikTok and everyone was about short form entertaining video performances. It was about dancing and challenges and that didn’t fit the Rammstein brand at all. We decided to forgo it because, firstly, I couldn’t see it and I wouldn’t even be comfortable pitching it. Secondly, it doesn’t fit the brand and it doesn’t help them to achieve their goals, either. We would rather come up with ideas that are along the lines of creating riddles and having planned leaks of certain things.

What we did for Lindemann, who is the singer in Rammstein, he also released an album and we showed a video of a song, just one time. We did a website where we could stream the video, but it was shown for three minutes and then it was gone. One reason was because it was very brutal and it would be censored and taken off. Obviously, the fanbase, you can rely on them to find their ways and with all the hype existing, you know that they will find a way to make it available, but it’s no longer us who will be hosting the video or be responsible for it. People who wanted to see it could still see it. I think, especially in online streaming marketing, it’s still important to create these moments where things are rare, where you have to be at a certain place, at a certain time, to see things. That’s what people find exciting. If everything is available, to everyone, the whole time, they can’t really use that to build their own personality brands, so we always try to think of things as to why people would be interested, in their own lives, to see the video of Lindemann at a specific time, on Halloween night.

I think that’s the way we approach it and not just to think about the artist, but also, what are the fan personas? What is important to them? Why would they share a certain piece of content and why not? Then we bring it all together.

Would you almost map out the fan persona and the band persona and then match them and see what marketing plan you could put around that?

Yes, exactly. We usually have two or three different personas for a band or a brand. Then we decide how we want to approach them and what the best channel for them is. For a newcomer band that we work with, there is a channel where they interact with rock friends, who read Rolling Stone, who like guitar music, who like indie music that is handmade. It’s more the type of channel where they talk about how they produce their music and which songs they like.

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