Online Exclusive: Branded Entertainment

MUSIC EVENT DRAWS RECORD ONLINE HUMMER CROWD

Branded Entertainment Concert Promotes Black Eyed Peas and H3

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- The online offering of an original piece of non-published music recorded at a branded entertainment concert by the band Black Eyed Peas has drawn
Photo: AP
Tracy Ferguson, who uses the stage name 'Fergie,' is a singer in the four-member band Black Eyed Peas, which performed at a private, branded-entertainment concert for Hummer.
a record number of people to the Hummer Web site, according to the company.

The Hummer concert and Web site tie-in was the latest event demonstrating how automotive marketing and music promotion are stitching themselves together in an evermore seamless manner.

Private concert
On Oct. 27 Hummer held a private Black Eyed Peas concert in Anaheim, Calif., for a selected list of 1,500 Hummer owners and their guests. The marketing gala was focused on unveiling the General Motor Corp.'s new smaller Hummer sport utility vehicle, the 2006 model H3, a day before it was shown to the press at the California International Auto Show. The H3 goes on sale next spring.

"Southern California is Hummer's No. 1 market," so it made sense to introduce the H3 there, said Susan Docherty, general manager of the brand.

Three minute video
After the concert, a three-minute video featuring new original music and scenes of the band's performance interlaced with on-camera H3 endorsements by band members was quickly edited and placed on Hummer.com. During the first two hours it was live, the online video was watched by 1,600 people, according to Hummer's marketing director, Liz Vanzura. During the next four days, 20,000 viewed the video. It was the heaviest single-day traffic Hummer.com has ever had.

As a result, the company is talks with the band to expand their relationship, Ms. Vanzura said. She indicated that upcoming commercials might use more of the Black Eyed Peas' music.

Concert and auto show
The live venue had the look and feel of both a music concert and a glitzy auto show of Hummers, including one prominently displayed on stage.

TV's Pat O'Brien hosted the event, which included a pre-show DJ provided by XM Satellite Radio, in which GM has an investment, and cigar tasting via Cigar Aficionado magazine.

The deal started from Ms. Vanzura's two-year friendship with Mike Jurkovac, the Black Eyed Peas' producer. Lead vocalist Will.I.Am owns a Hummer H2 SUT. The band's three other singers will soon get a Hummer -- as part of their contract with GM for the promotional appearance.

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