Lately, savvy restaurant chains have been getting mileage out of rock bands by picking up the tabs for their on-the-road meals. Of course, we're not talking about bands like the Foo Fighters or other arena-rockers who might demand bowls full of brown M&M's or immaculate avocados, but regular Billy Joes who would probably end up grabbing a light-night bite on their own through a drive-thru window in their tour bus if they hadn't been generously comp'd already.
Denny's has announced its "Adopt-a-Band" program, whereby up-and-coming as well as established acts will get free food in exchange for three visits a month by the bands and promotion on their blogs. In addition to the grub, the bands will get featured spots a Denny's All-Nighter music portal, which has a music blog, recommendations and photos. SFS hasn't heard of most of the yet-to-be-established bands, but nearly everyone will recognize The Plain White T's, The All-American Rejects and Taking Back Sunday, the last of which has already given us a taste of what this promotion will entail with some YouTube videos:
Last year Taco Bell had a similar promotion called "Feed the Beat," whereby bands were given $500 in gorditas, burritos and such. This week in Pittsburgh, mash-up artist Girl Talk (nee Gregg Gillis) spent his money on dinner for his fans. From Pitchfork:
Gillis explains: "I went to the Edgewood Town Center Taco Bell the week prior and explained what I wanted to do. The manager didn't believe me about the contest at first, but once I showed the actual Taco Bell Bucks, she was pumped on the idea. She even offered to drive all of the food in her pick-up truck to the show. We pre-ordered 133 beef burritos, 133 bean burritos, and 133 spicy chicken soft tacos."
And there is the ultimate payoff: for $500 and a press release, an artist buys food for fans, the clip goes on YouTube and music sites, and everyone comes out looking pretty good. Well played, guys.
[Via Billboard, Idolator, Pitchfork]