Case Study: Huge Public Relations Success With A Tiny PR Budget
One Idea. No Budget. Flawless Results.
Lately, it seems like every time I go online and check the news, I see another story about the Foo Fighters and their iconic front man Dave Grohl. Whether it’s him breaking his leg in the middle of a concert…
Thank you Gothenburg. That was amazing. pic.twitter.com/BXvuxIfVEv
— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) June 12, 2015
…finishing the band’s tour in a custom throne that shoots lasers…
…or bringing his doctor on stage to jam-out, the band is making waves. For someone like me that grew up on the band’s music, it’s great.
The Goal: Get The Foo Fighters To Play Cesena, Italy
But the most recent press the band has received has nothing to do with the band’s actions. It all stems from a group of friends and Foo Fighters super fans in Italy that call themselves the Rockin’ 1000, and its message to the band was simple: we want you to come and play in Cesena, Italy!
The Solution: Get 1000 Musicians To Play Learn To Fly
The group could have tried to contact Foo Fighters’ management team and try and convince them of scheduling a show. But because these requests come in so often, the group knew it had to take another route. It decided to gather 1,000 people and put on the ultimate Foo Fighters jam session and record the whole thing. Like every group that has a good idea but no money, it decided to crowdfund. The group recorded a video in Italian and English that showed what was trying to be accomplished and distributed it to major Italian news and music networks. Soon after, the story had reached almost every corner of the globe, but the funding didn’t come pouring in like they hoped. There was no quit with this group – they kept at it and in a somewhat clichéd ending, received funding just in time. To complete the project, auditions were held for musicians, a world-renowned composer was brought on board, and the perfect shooting location was found. To save money, the group was able to get top-tier talent to volunteer their time because it offered something better than money: the opportunity to work on something truly fun.
The Result: A Viral Video & Amazing Success
In the end, Rockin’ 1000 created a video that you’ve probably seen pop-up on your Facebook or Twitter feed – the story has been shared over 3.5 million times – and so far has garnered more than 21 million views on YouTube. It’s a video that’s brought smiles to the faces of every person I’ve shown it to, and one that demonstrates the awesome power of a great idea.
Social Media Buzz
An examination of Twitter activity via Topsy shows the immediate spike in discussions about the video. This chart compares the volume of Tweets mentioning “Foo Fighters,” “Learn To Fly” or “Cesena.” The video was uploaded on July 30. Data from BuzzSumo shows how the story took off on social channels. Stories about the video were shared 3.5 million times on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn combined. A Google Trends report illustrates the search volume for the topics “Foo Fighters,” “Learn To Fly,” “Cesena, Italy,” and “Rockin1000” spiked the day after the video launched. Not surprisingly, search volume for “Foo Fighters” was high in Italy. Oh, and the video also attracted the attention for the Foo Fighters – and one other small thing – they’re playing in Cesena! The organizers even received a personal response from Dave Grohl, in Italian, thanking them for the video and confirming the band will play in this small town. So in the end, it was the perfect outcome.
The PR Takeaway
Every day, PR professionals are asked to come up with ideas that produce meaningful results and accomplish our clients’ goals, and the budgets aren’t always large. A piece of content like this video is a great example of someone who knew their end goal and came up with an innovative idea to get their message out to the world. I don’t think anybody could accuse this group of thinking INSIDE the box.
With more than 21 million views in just 11 days, it’s safe to say the video went viral.