CASE STUDY: Indie Rockers Torche Find Success With Interactive Marketing Strategy
Last year, Torche was prepping for another studio album release, their 4th to be exact. Even in the very early stages, the team at The Orchard thought that Restarter, the Florida band’s first album on Relapse Records and one filled with a harsher, heavier-than-ever Sludge Metal sound, was going to be one for the books.
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Our marketing goals were pretty straightforward: to revitalize Torche’s online presence, engage fans in the digital space and try all sorts of innovative and interactive techniques to reach previously untapped audiences.
We started basic — building a new splash page to communicate all the new album info, complete with pre-order links and streaming media. In the meantime, and because we’ve got a history of carrying out unique and exciting ideas with Relapse (that Red Fang beer chugging game ring a bell?), we worked on succeeding the initial launch page with something straight out of a gamer’s paradise.
Torche vs. Robots was the second “splash page,” and the goal was to make a splash, indeed. We worked with developers to create a basic, 16-bit-style side scrolling shooter game on the official Torche website, as well as apps for iPhone and Android. The idea? The world has come to an end and only the members of Torche can battle the “bloodthirsty robots” to save the world. Then, with the help of a Torche member of your choice (mine was Steve), jump to collect ammo, shoot to destroy robots, and dash to avoid falling craters, all while your apocalyptic crusade is soundtracked by a Restarter track. Links to the album pre-order were pushed before and after game-time, and those players with the fastest winning times for each band member received specialty prize packs. Last but not least, did I mention we used remarketing tags in both splash pages? Yep, covered that, too.
For those non-gaming fans, we incorporated a different kind of interactive fun. Torche is well known for including mind-blowingly intricate art into their releases. At the time, the sleeve art for Restarter had been kept close to the chest, so fans were scrambling for an inkling of what to expect. Enter the all-seeing “Magic Eye.” We used the album art to create an optical illusion that, if seen correctly, revealed the URL with the fully unscrambled artwork.
To take the campaign a step further, we utilized our college marketing program to work the younger crowd. Our rep at Emerson College, Kayla, worked with Allston Pudding, a local music blog, to promote a ticket giveaway for the sold-out Boston show; Emma, over in Denver, got her Music Business seminar class talking about the game, using the academic playing field to continue Torche promo. All in all, our college marketing reps hit 10 cities during the campaign, blastingRestarter all over the local music scene in their respective locations.
- Audience growth across the band’s social platforms increased by 17.8%.
- Breaking that number down: YouTube audience growth went up by 12%, Facebook saw a 10% increase, Twitter got a big bump with 26%, Instagram audience numbers went up by 14% and Spotify had a whopping 25% follower increase.
- First week chart positions on Billboard saw Restarter at #133 on the Top 200, #2 on Heatseekers, #12 on Independent Albums, #21 on Current Rock, and #10 on Overall Hard Music.