Perry Farrell, lead singer of Jane’s Addiction, chose his stage name as a play on the word “peripheral,” but even in 1991, when Farrell organized the first Lollapalooza as a farewell tour, there was nothing peripheral about the event. A 26-city road show featuring acts like Ice-T and Nine Inch Nails, Lollapalooza has become a global institution.
“The international Lollapalooza brand has grown from a few cities and a handful of countries in South America to Europe, as well as Lollapalooza in Berlin and Sweden, Paris,” Steven Chandler, Marketing Director at C3 Presents, tells ToneDen.
Based in Austin, Texas, C3 Presents produces festivals, concerts, and events— including hundreds at the US’s hottest casinos. Chandler oversees marketing for C3’s Casinos division; aiding him is Jenn Adams, Senior Marketing Manager. Since their early Caesars Entertainment partnership, C3’s Casinos division has exploded: today it counts The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas as one of the stars in its portfolio. “It’s a 180 from where we were in 2007 to where we are present day,” Chandler admits. “All for the better. More resources, more properties, more volume, more business, more growth.”
A recent Live Nation acquisition further propelled C3’s ascent. Currently helping them crush casinos? ToneDen. “It wasn’t far into the pilot before the team was like, wow,” Adams says.
“The time I’m saving is substantial.”
C3’s Casino Clients
C3 is a production machine. “Everything from marketing, ticketing, booking, and production, we do that,” Chandler says. “We’re not printing tee shirts here, but the designs for various tchotchkes — that’s all done here.”
With casinos, Chandler explains, C3’s role is also advisory. “We still do a lot of those services, but we look at it more as a partnership with those guys. If they win, we win, and vice versa. We’ve been able to grow a lot of our casino clients’ business over the twelve years that we’ve been doing this.”
While C3 Casinos handles marketing for 1000 casino shows nationwide, Vegas is inevitably the heart of their business. “I love Vegas,” Adams says. “I was looking to expand my marketing experience from the promoter side and ended up being a great fit over here.”
Vegas brought C3 and ToneDen, together, too: Adams met the Sales team at 2018 Events in Arena Marketing Conference. Fast forward a few months to Pollstar. “ToneDen was doing a new pilot program that was more appealing for our clients,” Chandler says. “Post-Pollstar, we got the deal done and ran through that for April, May, and June.”
Like any new platform, Chandler admits, ToneDen comes with a learning curve. Soon, though, he and Adams saw ToneDen helping C3 manage an incredible number of campaigns, saving them time, making them money, and catering to their needs.
“You guys are working with us to create these new features that we’re asking for,” Adams says. That’s a positive change. “I worked with one agency previously for social marketing. They recently upped their campaign minimums — and there was a longer lead time with them. With ToneDen, I don’t have to worry about a minimum. If I need an ad up in a few hours, I can make that happen.”
“The Proof Is in the Pudding”
Inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, a 40,000-square-foot venue hosts comedians (Bill Burr) and queens (Lizzo) alike. The Chelsea — with its grand staircase and grander chandelier — is one of The Cosmopolitan’s premiere event spaces, a perfect site for C3 to work their magic.
C3 turned to ToneDen to help The Chelsea market an entire calendar of events for the casino venue. Using Dynamic Event Ads — DEAs, for short — Chandler and Adams promoted multiple shows under one campaign.
How does it work? As ToneDen’s Ali Shakeri recently shared: “Our marketing automation platform has paved the way in helping event organizers overcome the challenges of maximizing marketing budgets while keeping costs low. However, in managing marketing for multiple events, we saw our customers were time-constrained with the limited bandwidth at their disposal.”
DEAs improve on the old calendar ads , full-page spots that used to run in newspapers and zines. With DEAs, fans aren’t squinting at tiny text and promoters aren’t creating campaigns ad infinitum: Promoters can remarket hundreds of shows within a single campaign and the creative a fan sees is dependent on the show they viewed.
“Probably my biggest wins are on just the first month of the DEA ads I ran,” Adams says. For C3’s recent remarketing DEA campaign at The Cosmopolitan, a spend of under $30 brought in almost $10K in revenue—an astounding 329.5x return on ad spend. “Seeing those returns, knowing we’re targeting people who are interested, I love that [the DEAs are] running in the in-between time when I may not have budget to spend directly on that show. We’re still able to get it in front of those fans, specifically fans that have already indicated an interest.”
Chandler sums up the power of DEAs like this:
“The proof is in the pudding. The numbers are there and they’re significant.”
Juggling for Juggernauts
Whether you’re marketing a casino show or a campy festival, ToneDen is a must, says C3’s team. “Anyone that has social media marketing as one of their names, duties or in their role, when they’re juggling a lot of volume and a lot of different clients would be perfect for ToneDen,” Chandler says.
Whether its ease of audience building or A/B testing, ToneDen helps busy marketers bypass the technical challenges of other ad management tools. But, to Adams, it’s the platform’s ability to facilitate selling at scale that is its greatest asset.
“When you have a bunch of shows going on,” she says, “everybody on our team is handling print, radio, billboards — and social. Digital continues to be a bigger part of that pie, but it’s also one of the more time-consuming parts: we’re building it out instead of somebody else signing off on it. Having a good understanding of what we’re actually doing, how it’s performing, the automation or the optimization: it’s fantastic.”