Friday, May 9, 2008

Coldplay's Deceptive "Free" Concert in Madison Square Garden: Only 3,500 Winners Get A Pair of Tickets.



So...at 4:30 this afternoon I got an email where Coldplay announced the opening of the contest for their "free" concert in Madison Square Garden in New York where ALL the tickets are free. I'm really bothered by how Coldplay handled this announcement. It was certainly easy enough to enter the contest and that went well. UNTIL I READ THE FINE PRINT. Remember I'm an ad guy so I read the fine print. The Madison Square Garden concert only has 7,000 WINNERS (even less, actually, since they're distributed as 3,500 pairs). Shame on you Coldplay. What was originally billed as a "free" concert" (which certainly seemed like all the Garden seats would be given away) has become a show where about a third of the total tickets or so are free (with a 20,000 plus concert capacity). Not a good way to build credibility with your fan base. Would have been like Radiohead (the gold standard of free) saying "name your price" but restricting the pay what you want program for "In Rainbows" to the first 5,000 people. A great chance for terrific communication blown. Wonder how many people will see this, and will it be publicized? Or...is the fine print just an inadvertent error? Or are they only filling 7,000 Garden seats? Brixton doesn't have the same clause? Weigh in Coldplay fans.

22 comments:

Jennifer said...

I'm not a Coldplay fan, but if I were ... I'd be pissed. Maybe they are hopeful that no one will read the fine print, and those who enter the contest and lose out won't hold any grudges. At any rate, it seems like a good way to antagonize people who are hard to antagonize. And that can't be good advertising.

Scott Lackey said...

Jennifer...agree. It's very strange to me. A day later I think I may have been too hard on the band...rather than the promotion people. But, still, if you're Coldplay you have to personally sweat the details...especially in a music marketing world that's becoming more hands on by the day.

Anonymous said...

it will actually takes place in the WaMu theater of the MSG, whose capacity is....7000 persons

Anonymous said...

it will actually takes place in the WaMu theater of the MSG, whose capacity is....7000 persons

exactly...

this guy's a moron

Scott Lackey said...

Good to know that it's at the WaMu Theater at MSG that seats 7,000. Thanks for the update. But here's my complaint...why not STATE THAT CLEARLY IN THE CONTEST MATERIALS. Aside from the fine print mentioning 7,000 people WaMu was never mentioned, and I strongly believe that all the PR implied that the show was at MSG. Maybe I'm the moron. If so, fine, call me names if you want, no problem. Did everyone out there recognize this but me? Let me know. Onward and upward...this should be a great Coldplay record from the sound of the first two singles. Viva La Vida = enormous hook. Enjoy the concert if you win.

Anonymous said...

When are people notified if they win?

Amaury said...

I have been notified that i won !

i guess if you did not receive anything, that s not a good sign...

Scott Lackey said...

CONGRATULATIONS AMAURY. Great...my guess is that they were tough odds. Sure it will be a terrific show.
Could you check back into the site and write a quick concert review for us.

Thanks,
Scott

Anonymous said...

If the concert is to be held in the WAMU theater then that is what they should have on their web site. If you look under the "live" section it says MSG. That's splitting hairs at the least or false advertising at the worst. According to Rolling Stone magazine,the free show was sort of a "sorry, we messed up" for two shows at MSG on the last tour that were just plain bad. I've been a fan of the band since before their debut album was available domestically and it's a shame to see how fans are treated the bigger they get. Remember the lottery to have the chance to buy tickets for their last tour? That was a joke. I really like them and was hoping to get tickets to the show, especially since I was already going to be in New York on that day. (I live in California). As for their promotion people, ultimately it always comes down to the band. I think if they wanted to play MSG, they would be playing there instead of the smaller theater. Congratulations, Amaury. I hope you enjoy the show.

Anonymous said...

i entered the contest 5 times.... and i won every time! 10 tickets! so idk if the chances weren't that slim after all or maybe i just got super lucky.

Keith- said...

Got my winner email as well. Didn't realize it was at WaMu either though it makes sense as this one has not been bumped like the rest of the tour.

Posted the text of the confirmation email here: www.theshonuff.blogspot.com

late-

Zubin said...

I just got my tickets in the mail. I don't think it is at the Wamu Theater and is in fact at the big arena because I am in Section 227 which doesn't exist at the Wamu Theater.

Michael said...

Yeah I am in Section 132, which does not exist in Wamu. It is definitely at MSG.

Mariela Rodas González said...

So what happened? can we get a ticket now or not? Have you been there in the madison to ask about it? I've seen in the MSG that they were coming but no tickets available!

ullsa01 said...

I won my tickets, and got them in section 226. No such section in the WAMU. What I don't understand is if only 7000 people will attend, will the rest of the arena be empty?

Anonymous said...

for the anonymous person who entered 5 times and won every time, I did the same and was not so lucky. Interested in getting rid of a pair of those tickets? hah I'm a HUGEEEEE Coldplay fan from New York and this concert would have been perfect! I found this whole process rather flawed, for there are hardcore fans like me who didn't get any tickets and then those who don't even like the band are selling the tickets they've won for $700 on craigslist and ebay. Love Coldplay but hey, I don't have $700. Oh well, I guess that's capitalism for you.

Scott Wilson said...

SHAME on Scott Lackey. Shame Shame Shame. Assuming the number one coolest band of all time would be so dishonorable? They are actually doing us a favor, giving friggin FREE TICKETS! how can you complain? ITs going to be in a small and intimate setting. Their new CD is musical genius, i have signed up for free tickets, and quite frankly i hope you dont win.

Scott Lackey said...

Hey Scott WIlson:

Hi Scott WIlson:
Thanks for your comment. Go ahead...bring it on I can take it. Read the comments I've made above in the comment section. Especially the 5th one...which says almost virtually everything I'd respond to you with. You seem to be misreading the actual point of the entry which has nothing to do with whether Coldplay is the best band ever or whether I'm going to win tickets. The entry has everything to do with the advertising/marketing approach which was taken. Because that's what my blog is about.

Scott Lackey said...

With so many questions about where this concert is occurring (Wamu or MSG), I had one of our agency's employees call one of their friends who works at Madison Square Garden (MSG). NOT WAMU. They said, without any hesitation, that the concert was being held at MSG...no word on how many people, if any, will attend beyond the 7,000 winners.

Would make sense to me to fill the place...whether it's with 13,000 models, actresses and actors or with radio contest winners. Or gifts to other charities...which would be a great thing.

LoneStarLibrarian said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! Advertising was one of my "almost" careers... But libraries have turned out to be lots of fun.

Cheers,
the Outlaw

Powerful $5 advertising said...

good to know about this contest and glad to participate in this....

Powerful advertising said...

its "free" ....... wow. grab the opportunity.