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Last week vacation specialist Jetsetter partnered with Norah Jones to preview her song Travelin’ On.
Tnooz reported that the site would be streaming the song from Jones’ upcoming album, Little Broken Hearts, via Soundcloud from March 20-25 ahead of its May 1st release date. Plus, Jetsetter would be a one-hour preview before it went anywhere else.
The brand created a ticket and hotel package for her August 7 concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl in California, which it said would be sold via its website, Facebook page and Twitter account “for several weeks”.
Jetsetter was in fact the exclusive seller of the concert tickets from March 20-22, before they went on sale to the general public on March 23.
I questioned this campaign at the time va Twitter, saying that all of the pieces were in place – but that it didn’t feel quite right. Jetsetter CEO Drew Patterson asked me to elaborate.
I did, referencing that based on Tnooz’s story, the campaign was to start that same day. “If so, there's nothing on your site to entice people to register w the promise of a clip/no pre-launch activity on FB/Twitter.”
He clarified that the timing was correct and that trade off was "excited with nothing to show vs focus on coverage once live". I finished the conversation with a point about a decent content strategy building momentum in the run-up to a launch, teasing people into getting excited about something – rather than simply having ‘nothing to show’.
Anyway. I went back at the time of launch, as suggested – but was a little disappointed. First up, the website. You need to register with Jetsetter before accessing the full site, but there was no special promo box to tempt me into doing so with the promise of a preview of Jones’ track.
I signed up with Facebook, but once inside, there was still no mention. No signposting on the homepage to even suggest that the campaign was running.
Jones hasn’t released anything since The Fall in 2009, so this is a big deal. You can preview her track ‘Happy Pills’ via iTunes, but that’s it so far.
Next I checked Facebook, which showed just two posts. One post on the Jetsetter page, on the day of launch, telling people to come back at 2pm – then another announcing the 1-hour preview.
Twitter was slightly better, with five tweets – but again on the same day.
Now, this post isn’t intended to bash Jetsetter’s social strategy. It’s much better than most in terms of having a clear social voice (tone is conversational and friendly yet informative), it makes the most of the beautiful imagery of its partner’s venues and hotels, and activity is regular. Plus, it’s already implemented Timeline functionality on Facebook to name but a few points.
That said, I think this shows a wasted opportunity. Though Patterson’s approach of not promising something when you don’t have anything to show for it is valid in some respects, I fear that’s too fearful an approach.
The one-hour time frame was critical. Norah Jones is a globally-famous artist who hasn’t recorded an album for years, this exclusive was a big deal – and I’m not convinced Jetsetter made the most of it.
From a business objectives perspecive, the aim was probably to sell tickets to the concert and hotel package. Since the page now says ‘Sorry, this property is no longer available’ – I’m assuming it was a success. Though I've asked Jetsetter for stats, as it'll be interesting to see just how many packages were sold, or if the deal was revoked because all the tickets sold out when sales opened to the public via other means.
But this also presented an opportunity to engage with the online community, strengthening relationships with existing customers by showing them the great things Jetsetter can give them access to – and attracting new ones that are interested (or at least initially attracted by) music-related events.
Signposting is imperative, otheriwise people have no idea something’s even happening. The fact that this partnership was so time-critical means that in my opinion, the brand should have been building up buzz in the few weeks before, if not month.
It’s a shame there was a lack of this on Jetsetter.com, and that searching for the phrase ‘Norah Jones’ doesn’t direct you to the specially-built page. In fact, I had to search on Google to find it. Even if just to keep a record of the partnership as a reminder of a past, exciting event, a page detailing what was on offer should be easy to find.
Somewhat unclear wording on Facebook and Twitter suggested that only Facebook fans could access the preview, though that wasn’t quite true – Jetsetter just wanted to use that as a touchpoint.
That’s fair enough, but even one commenter replied to Jetsetter’s tweet highlighting the same issue.
Facebook and Twitter could have been used to drum up excitement about the hour-long preview. Why not ask questions about Jones’ music – or any other favourites? Run a competition to win a free ticket/hotel spot, create a virtual ‘line’ – the possibilities are endless.
Resource and spend is obviously a consideration, but there’s also a lot that could have been done for free. Based on the regularity on Jetsetter’s social activity, I suspect they someone dedicated to it. If not full time, then part time at least, so with a structured content strategy, this could have worked.
There’s no way of knowing if bloggers or press had been informed, which would have added to getting the most value out of this opportunity as possible. Music blooggers in particular love the thrill of bagging something first, and probably would have loved the chance to do so.
A quick search on Google’s blog section shows hardly any blog coverage for the term ‘Norah Jones Jetsetter’, in fact most of the articles point ot Madonna’s use of Fab.com to sell a discounted version of her own new album, MDNA.
Madonna is actively using social media to promote MDNA anyway, so Fab have a huge leg-up there over Jetsetter, since Jones isn’t as aggressive in this sense (or any other really). But lo and behold, visit Fab.com and what do we see? The entire homepage has been taken over by the MDNA album artwork, with a clear call to action highlighting the price reduction and a direct link.
There’s also no indication of whether Jetsetter used Facebook ads to drive traffic to its page surrounding the 2pm ‘go live' time, but with just two posts on the brand’s page – it's unlikely.
This is Jetsetter’s first celebrity partnership however, so there’s time to grow. There’s no bad outcome from this, since it's not like it's done anything wrong – it’s just a bit of a wasted opportunity to do much, much more.