Last night I had an event, one that I created, and if you were there (but you weren’t) then you would probably would have said that it was a flop. Even though this party had been advertised on two radio stations, not very many people showed up but some did. Was it a huge success? No. However, it was re-branding at it’s finest and it had several tasks to overcome.
Sometimes an establishment will try to go in a new direction and many times these changes will lend towards the need for a re-branding marketing campaign. If done right, the business will not only retain their current customer base but also gain new customers. This client was trying to change his atmosphere and this may be one of the hardest to do.
What was the challenge? Take a local Mexican restaurant that has has a pretty successful Latino Saturday dance night and flip the script. The night would still involve dancing and a DJ, but the owner wanted to change the music to top dance hits and open up his after-hour party to a broader audience.
The owner and I developed a plan the idea and a pretty decent hook. iParty at Pablo’s was catchy. It was easy to create a fun script (script below) that ran on two stations in the Birmingham area.
We created an offer that I thought most people going out on a Saturday night couldn’t refuse. $2 Fire ball shots. In this market, the very popular shot can cost $6-$8 depending on the establishment.
The event was advertised on 104.7 WZZK, Birmingham’s best country, and Birmingham Mountain Radio. We had Craig Allen, the PM drive DJ, broadcast LIVE from Pablo’s from 9-11. I also had Geno, a very popular BMR personality, be the music DJ for the night. In my head, this was going to be a success. I wasn’t expecting a packed house, but I was expecting more than that was there.
There are always unpredictable things that can detour a good plan. I was banking on the fact that Geno has a popular following that I figured would come out to support him. Then the unpredictable happened. Saint Paul and the Broken Bones decided to do a surprise show in Birmingham the same night. Great for Saint Paul and the Broken Bones fans…. which is mainly any and everyone who listens to BMR. Not so good for Pablo’s.
After a little while, a few people started to trickle up to the bar. The night ended with very little excitement. It wasn’t a huge success but here is what it did do:
- Created an awareness that this change was happening (without ads no one would have even known they were open past dinner)
- Started changing the listeners thought’s about Pablo’s after hours atmosphere
- Set ourselves up to evolve the idea, to make it more successful
After the night we had most would guess the owner would say “This just didn’t work”. I would say otherwise. iParty at Pablo’s WILL be a success, after it has time to catch on. Marketing and branding do not happen over night and changing the perception of your atmosphere is hard a task. I think it can be done. I’ll keep you posted.
Girl in the Magic City
iParty at Pablo’s script: