Interactivity is the key to hooking teens, and Teen.com is positioning itself as a sticky new platform for launching teen properties with this month’s ‘Teens Make the Band’ event.
Kicking off in New York with a party at Planet Hollywood on April 4, the initiative lets the mag site’s one million unique monthly visitors shape the future of a tween boy band repped by promo partner Verex Entertainment.
Over five weeks, teens will vote on the band’s name, first single, music video concept, album cover art and look (hairstyles, clothes, etc.) ‘Teens really, really enjoy anything that gives them a voice because it makes them feel empowered,’ says Teen.com editor-in-chief Melissa Rekos. ‘We wanted to give our visitors an opportunity to participate in an industry that’s such an integral part of their lives.’
The initiative is also a great way to build up a substantial prelaunch audience for a new entry into the crowded pop band market-better still if that audience feels that they’ve been involved in the discovery of the group.
‘I think a certain amount of proprietary connection will build up between our visitors and the band, and I’m sure Verex is hoping this will translate into future record sales,’ says Rekos. ‘Young adults tend to be very passionate about new things they’ve discovered. For Verex, this is an opportunity to build an underground guerilla marketing campaign for the band, and their hope is that our visitors will trigger a viral component by telling all their friends about the project.’
Rekos believes that teens would also get behind a similar initiative for the launch of a new teen TV show or interactive game. The formula might be extended to these other entertainment formats if ‘Teens Make the Band’ gets enough hits.
Radio Disney has come onboard as a sponsor for the promo, as well as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who just launched Mary-Kate and Ashley magazine. (Roughly 400,000 copies of the initial issue hit shelves on March 20.)