Music Marketing

Tenacious D Marketing Music On Reddit’s AMA [CASE STUDY]

Tenacious-redditReddit's community-grown Ask Me Anything (AMA) forum could also be called the Anti-Marketing Association. Yes, people do participate with specific marketing goals in mind but it's possibly best approached as a branding opportunity rather than a chance to boost sales of any particular product. Recently Tenacious D took the Reddit AMA stage with the help of Lee Martin.

Tenacious D planned a visit to Reddit as a sort of adjunct to their promotional work for Rize of the Fenix since Reddit's IAmA AMA or AMAA (Ask Me Almost Anything) isn't a promotional space per se. Woody Harrelson was not informed of this key subcultural dynamic and had an awful visit.

As one participant stated after Harrelson's exit:

"Reddit isn't a good venue to pitch your movie,
it's a venue to pitch yourself."

Steve Albini seemed to get the idea and went on Reddit as Steve Albini. He didn't push product but he generated numerous strong quotes that made for great coverage after the fact.

Reddit's IAmA Forum, also referred to as AMA, stipulates that AMA sessions "should focus on:"

"Something uncommon that plays a central role in your life -or-"

"A truly interesting and unique event (Ex: I climbed Mt. Everest)"

Or be a celebrity. For the non-celebrity musicians out there, the ideal would be to appear based on something "uncommon", "interesting" or "unique" about yourself and/or your life beyond the fact that you're a musician.

At all levels of the game, in a marketing sense Reddit visits are about branding. It may even be best to go when you don't have anything to promote other than your own existence.

Tenacious D appeared on Reddit May 11.

Lee Martin (Experimental Development for SoundCloud) shared a "three-part cheat sheet" on how he "prepared for, promoted, and executed the event."  The following is from that post:

I. Prepare the Band (and Yourself)

Be prepared to answer questions that are completely unrelated.

Reddit is NYPA or Not Your Personal Army.

Questions may seem controversial compared to other Q&As you've done in the past.

II. Promote Her Gently

Started promotion two weeks prior to the AMA by setting up a simple save the date website at TheD.AM/A.

Dropped Reddit a note so they properly listed the band on the Upcoming AMAs chart within the main IAmA subreddit.

Do a nice round of social posts.

III. The Final Showdown

One hour before the band was ready…logged in and created the actual AMA topic on Reddit.

All AMA's must include some form of proof which can be as simple as a photo of the artist holding up a sign with their Reddit username and the current date.

Thanks to Reddit's built-in voting functionality, the most popular questions are sent right to the top of your AMA topic.

In Summary

Tenacious D received over 5000 questions and comments in a little over an hour, and we did our best to answer as many as possible…we absolutely loved how the Reddit community reacted to it in real-time.

There's much more at Lee Martin's blog. It's a nicely detailed description of a solid appearance on Reddit AMA.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith blogs about business at Flux Research: Business Changes and about dance at All World Dance: News. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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