Charter Communications Hooks College Subscribers with Music

Charter Communications, the fourth largest provider of broadband, TV, and phone, wants to reach college kids as they’re returning to school, at the moment they’re arguing about which roommate gets to put their name on the bills.  Sex and beer aside, how does one market to such fickle millennials?  Music of course. New, cool, live, regional music reverberated wtih social media.

With the help of three agencies, Charter developed their Center Stage Battle of the Bands to get bands and their fans involved in a social media slugfest that culminates in a live concert in Madison, WI on October 15th. Far flung fans can watch the show live on Facebook.

The contest is carefully designed to engage potential subscribers in Charter’s 11 markets, which is actually most of the country: New England, Carolinas/Virginia, Georgia/Alabama, Tennessee/Louisiana, Texas, Missouri/Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota/Nebraska, Nevada/Oregon/Washington, and California.  A designated leader of each band submitted has to reside in one of the regions, or go to school in one.  Built in, social media savvy fan bases ensure plenty of Likes, video views and votes along the way.

Elasticity is handling social media and PR, Jakala for event management, and Knotice for development.

One band from each of the 11 regions will face off in a final round of voting to win $25,000 in prizes and the opening slot for Panic! At the Disco and Fitz & The Tantrums at Willow Island in Madison. Voters can win stuff too and the 10 runners up get $2,500.

Charter is making a heavy push in both paid and earned media to make sure they get mileage from their investment, on Facebook of course, and through blog outreach, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and more.

So far so good.  At the time of this post, 287 bands have submitted videos to Charter’s Facebook page or microsite.  Exit 714 from Wentzvill, MO is currently leading the voting.  You can watch their video here: