December 23, 2013
It’s that time of year again. Time for tinsel, and trees, and TSO. That’s Trans-Siberian Orchestra to the crowd who learned about them before texting, and social media. It’s the holiday band that isn’t a holiday band, that’s back every year at this time to play to packed halls, and sold out crowds of festive fans.
It’s a neat gig, if you can figure out how to make it happen. A public relations coup of the highest order. Not that it isn’t deserved. These guys do put on an incredible show. And they have become a central Christmas tradition for millions across the world.
The public relations “trick” here is that TSO fans are willing to go to a show completely unaware of what they might hear. New stuff? Old stuff? A mix of both? Who cares, I’ve got Trans-Siberian tickets, people!
What brand wouldn’t love to engender that sort of fan loyalty? But, how can anyone make that happen? Ronn Torossian has some answers.
First, transition is in TSO’s DNA. This is a band that almost never was, a group who reinvented itself almost as a gimmick, and in doing so, found their calling. Along the way they became a beloved holiday tradition for their adoring fans, and created an entirely new form of music – the heavy metal Christmas carol.
Many have tried to follow in their footsteps, but few have found any measure of success. But why, again? Are they really just that “once in a lifetime” lucky?
Nope. TSO knows who they are, and they are comfortable being who their fans want to be. In a world where too many artists want to create art for themselves, and forget that they have to SELL that art to FANS, TSO knows exactly who they are, and they are completely okay with that.
Now, that’s not saying a day won’t come when the former 80s rock band won’t want to return to their roots. Or maybe they will discover acid-hiphop-polka, and change music as we know it (again). Who knows what will happen at that point? And, more to the point, who cares? Right now, where this band is in their public relations journey, is the “giving people what they want” phase.
And that can be an incredibly lucrative phase. It’s the phase that can bring you to “do what I want” fortune, and “be who I want” fame. Embrace it, or denounce it, not everyone gets that opportunity.
And, it is wise PR to seize it, and hold on for as long as you can. After all, hundreds may buy what you call art … but millions might buy what they call art.