Radio Starmaker Fund

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Radio Starmaker Fund Annual Report

2011 / 2012

Artist Profile: Arkells


Arkells have become one of Canada’s most acclaimed rock bands and the Radio Starmaker Fund has played an integral part in the success of their sophomore album, “Michigan Left”. Starmaker helped support the band’s successful first single and new album on many different platforms, including marketing at radio, retail, digitally and in movie theatres across Canada.

Through Starmaker we were able to plan an extensive radio ad campaign in five major markets across the country during Arkells’ tour in support of “Michigan Left”. This provided direct marketing to the band’s fans at radio leading into the band’s stops in Toronto, Hamilton, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. This additional marketing was key, as we were able to tag local retail carrying the album and the tour date while also supporting local radio stations playing Arkells with ad dollars. As a result, these efforts greatly increased the public’s awareness of the band in these cities and was a boon to the overall project.

In addition to this, the RSF provided advertising dollars to market the band’s album in Cineplex movie theatres across Canada. The Cineplex campaign was strategically timed to run around Christmas in order to reach the additional traffic attending theatres during the holidays. This type of campaign can be very costly, especially at this time of year and would not have been easy to secure without Starmaker’s help.

An important digital advertising initiative Starmaker made possible was an iPhone and iPad app banner campaign. It not only targeted a wide variety of ages through the CBC, sports, weather and social media related apps but was also timed to start around Christmas as we knew the iPhone and iPad would be popular Christmas gifts and the impressions we were purchasing would actually be higher as a result. In the end, this gave “Michigan Left” over 400,000 impressions through apps in Canada.

Another key digital initiative Starmaker funded was a CBC online campaign that included banner ads which ran across all CBC radio and entertainment websites. It ran after the band’s eastern tour dates and included marketing with CBC Radio 3, where the band had just received two Bucky Award nominations. CBC has always been a supporter of Arkells and it was very important to be able to add additional marketing for “Michigan Left” at the CBC as their audience includes a huge number of true Canadian music fans. It’s also a place where the band and album already had a significant presence.

This extra marketing funding through the RSF helped create a strong plan for the initial launch of the “Michigan Left” album as we were album to plan far ahead through to our phase two marketing at the same time. All in all, without this support we would not have been able to expose “Michigan Left” to as large an audience and for as sustained a period of time.

Madelaine Napoleone
Marketing Manager
Universal Music Canada