The 38-year-old managing director of Lilith Fair set out to promote the tour locally and nationally. "Having an all-female concert tour in a male-dominated industry is national news in itself," he says, "but marketing a festival needs to be national and regional."
He made sure Lilith Fair made its run through national media, including MTV, VH-1, Newsweek, Time, Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone. To complement national marketing efforts, Mr. McBride partnered with local radio stations and music stores.
The idea, he says, was to get everyone talking about the show on both national and local levels. Only $25,000 was used on local marketing, including radio and print contests that flew winners to concert dates around the country.
Although the media took readily to the story, some of the press criticized gender-and political-based-aspects of Lilith Fair.
But Mr. McBride kept the focus on what he considered the real story: Lilith Fair's low ticket prices and the ever-changing lineup of musicians.
"The public is going to look at it two ways: the concept and the lineup," Mr. McBride says. "The value of lineup is that you plop down only $30 to see 10 artists."
Where some media types raked over Lilith Fair politics, others picked up on the tour's donations to local charities.
"We didn't initially view it as marketing angle, but it definitely turned into one," Mr. McBride says.
In all, Lilith Fair donated $750,000 to local charities, he says.
Lilith Fair also put a lot of effort into multimedia marketing with a Web site dedicated to news about the tour, video clips of performances and artists' road diaries.
The tour even had its own multimedia bus that had a goal of posting performance clips and other information within an hour-a campaign that earned Lilith Fair an average of 400,000 hits a day, according to Mr. McBride.
"Lilith Fair was very micro-marketed-we really focused in on regional marketing." he says.