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How MEC Launched an Unsigned Band at Cannes Using Just Media


MEC takes us behind the scenes on how they 'broke' Birmingham-based band Broken Witt Rebels

How MEC Launched an Unsigned Band at Cannes Using Just Media

This was a test. A chance to try something new at Cannes. An outdoor stage at Cannes Entertainment for content that doesn’t fit inside. We were up for that.

We should have simply signed-up for a panel and then partied all week but we decided to invent. Our idea was to take an unsigned band and break them within 10 weeks.

Our ambition was to show that purposeful content and meaningful connections deliver great results for clients. In this case the client was the band. Broken Witt Rebels from Birmingham. We’re not a record label but we had a go.

We make brands famous so we wanted to take this power to an unsigned band. And create a sustainable model, creating a buzz that lasted well beyond the initial ten weeks.

It was our understanding of audiences, customer journeys, and content that delivered for the band.

Purposeful content

We knew we had to tailor content. But we’re a media agency. We can’t have editorial influence. So we went social. We used all the band's existing social channels including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter. Every call to action pointed fans to listen and discover on Spotify, and this helped drive income and built momentum. 

We researched how bands grow and identified the need for continuous momentum rather than one isolated tipping point. We created a 10 week content plan to build the story, engaging current fans and reaching new fans by taking the band into new cultural spaces via partnerships with the likes of Buzzfeed, Joe Media, Sofar Sounds and Crowdmix's Mixeratti influencer network. There were challenges. We had a whole sea of content to cut through. But we got there and our fans first strategy helped ensure they had a reason to engage.


This wasn’t the usual client but facing the odd meltdown was a positive thing. We developed SEO magic, trebled Facebook likes, tripled engagement and delivered a consistent style and a twist with GIFS. We created the first Shazam-able ad with Metro and delivered a nationwide outdoor advertising campaign that drove awareness. Homepage takeovers on Yahoo! Shazam and Tumblr provided a powerful digital stage. And then, we achieved something we couldn’t have dreamt of at the start. An unsigned band, Broken Witt Rebels, on the front page of YouTube.

Then we created real world activation. Reaching younger audiences through Buzzfeed and getting the band on the bill at Latitude and on radio.

Breaking the band?

But did we break the band? It’s brilliant to hear that they have two offers from record companies. The point of the ten-week initiative was to prove that ambition, combined with passion and purpose, delivers exceptional results. It’s an example of huge ambition within big constraints and we’re ready for the next challenge.

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Wavemaker UK, Wed, 29 Jun 2016 12:49:44 GMT