Kaizers Orchestra is getting quite some buzz these days for being very innovative with their methods of promoting their songs through The Kaizervirus app. During our semester in New York, we got the chance to interview the music promotion agency who made this idea into a reality for the band. Check out the article I wrote for our “Business for a Day” project.
Too many entrepreneurs have a too many feasible ideas. So what about starting a company based on having great ideas? This article is about the Norwegian promotional agency Haaland, Eidsvåg & Strøm who have made a small idea into a huge international reality. And they keep on doing it. Have you heard about the Kaizervirus? Hold on to your seat, because you may get infected. And there is no cure.
Kaizers Orchestra is a Norwegian band, formed in 2001 in Bergen, Norway. They have throughout the years evolved from being known for using oil drums, crowbars and car tires to using an entire symphony orchestra. Despite the arduous and extremely ingenious Norwegian lyrics, this band has had success in more European countries than you can count on your two hands. Their most recent work is the Violeta Violeta trilogy; with the conclusion being the most grandiose, spectacular and astonishing set of songs in the Norwegian rock history. Violeta Violeta Volume III was released November 2nd in Norway and online, and the physical cd will be available internationally from January 25.
It was discovered by a mere coincidence when Mr. Kaizer, in his lab, tried to cross dwarf-genes with tarantella DNA just to find a correlation between the quantity of stem cells of the lemmings on Hafjell and the deep-sea lizards from Gibraltar. As you can imagine the road to Internet, from there, was short.
– Kaizers Orchestra
The Kaizervirus is also known as an app for Android and iPhones, where the Kaizers Orchestra fans have been getting access to material, such as singles, before the official release. Things are never easy with this sextet, so in order to get the access, you have to be infected by it.
So it all started with an app, a bunch of applications, a song and one lucky winner. The lucky winner was Steffen F. Berland from a little place outside Bergen who would be the first fan in Norway with the virus (the song) “Aldri Vodka Violeta”. His task was to travel to Bergen and then to Oslo, the capital, in order to infect other people with the virus through the app. The process of infection requires the phones to be within a certain range, and the infection happens automatically. Within a week, 40 000 people had been infected, worldwide. Over a week later, over 100 000 were infected. This band sure knows how to get people‘s attention and how to market themselves and their material. But how do they do it?
As this group of musical men have put themselves in a position where they are one of the most valuable things the country of Vikings has, we wouldn‘t expect them to use anything other than the best. For The Kaizervirus, they have used a Norwegian musical/promotional agency Haaland, Eidsvåg & Strøm, who again have used the app-developers called Notch. We have talked to Simen Idsøe Eidsvåg, one of the founders as well as Kaizers Orchestra’s main contact person in the agency.
The Rise of The Kaizervirus
– Kaizers wanted to give something back to their fans; displaying
their gratitude for the years they have been following the band. This album also contains lengthy songs, which were too extensive for the radios to play. We had to find another solution to form expectations without help from the radio. The band has always talked about The Kaizervirus and how the band‘s fans are infected by this virus. We started playing with the thought of infection and virus – wouldn‘t it be cool if people infected each other with songs? We quickly found out that this could be executed through an app. And as far as we know, this has never been done in the world before.
What does Haaland, Eidsvåg & Strøm really do?
We like to call ourselves a music agency. We do a lot of promotional activities, but we prefer having control over the entire marketing part, all year. Not just concentrating on promoting simply one tour or one album. We are engaged in the entire brand of the artist.
Our job is to build the brand, make strategies; plans and the daily follow up of these. We are also the management for Jonas Alaska and Mikhael Paskalev.
The significance of Haaland, Eidsvåg & Strøm
We believe the overall approach is important. We are also engaged by that the artists should have the highest profit possible, and this is possible when the artists own most of their own rights. This also gives us more freedom to implement ideas where we can release singles by using alternative methods, and the Kaizervirus is an example of that. Another example is Hjerteknuser, another song by Kaizers Orchestra (click here to watch the video: http://vimeo.com/18502818)
Haaland, Eidsvåg & Strøm also arrange some Norwegian festival; Verket in Mo i Rana, Oscarsborg Akustiske in the Oslo Fjord and they will also be arranging a first- time festival next year in Hvalstand in Asker.
Haaland, Eidsvåg & Strøm