You would think a band with Weezer’s international popularity wouldn’t have to promote their latest release, Ratitude, as much as they are. The eighteen-year-old band has released seven studio albums and many of their singles such as “Hash Pipe,” “Island in the Sun,” “Undone (The Sweater Song),” brought them to indie-nerd superstar status over the past years.
Apparently that isn’t enough for them. In addition to collaborating with Snuggie to create customized Weezer Snuggies (a Snuggie and Ratitude are going for $30 at weezersnuggie.com), the band is now officially a part of T-Mobile’s Motorola CLIQ Challenge, which will give the college with the most votes on the T-Mobile Facebook page a free Weezer concert on or nearby the winning campus.
The CLIQ Challenge began on Nov. 2, and since then, UC Davis Entertainment Council has been mustering up publicity for the event. After their next volunteer meeting this Thursday night, the council plans to pass out flyers on campus and chalking lecture hall boards – in addition to promoting the challenge on their Facebook event page.
“I hope students aren’t discouraged because we aren’t ranked in the top ten,” said Entertainment Council Director Thongxy Phansopha. “We have such a huge student population, so I think we can get into at least the top five. I think we can win it if we keep trying [to get] students to vote everyday.”
Weezer tends to bring out the often-negative “selling out” aspect of producing music. However, a recent Billboard publication “Whitepaper” said “the stigma of using music in corporate marketing – the pejorative of “selling out” – has diminished in the last 10 or 15 years.” Brand managers and marketers are discovering that the music industry is “eager for money, awareness and a competitive advantage,” and even established bands like Weezer are using corporate sponsorship to compensate for lost record sale revenues.
By teaming up, Weezer and T-Mobile’s marketing campaign is essentially the perfect fit, aimed at promoting their individual products in a more successful and effective method than without the other.
“I think what Weezer is doing right now represents the way information is spread and processed so rapidly among our generation, where there’s not really boundaries between types of media anymore,” said junior genetics major Mike Dorrity.
Students voiced mixed opinions on the band and its marketing efforts. Some, such as junior history major Trevor Neeley, had positive remarks about the effort.
“Weezer is a cool band with a mastermind of a leader named Rivers Cuomo and I would love to see them at UC Davis,” Neeley said. “I would hope that they would play any song from The Blue Album or Pinkterton.”
Others, like junior communication major Arjun Srivatsa, are less excited about the band’s new direction.
“I think it’s terrible that [Weezer] went on tour with Fall Out Boy and Blink 182! When I first heard ‘Buddy Holly,’ they seemed really nerdy-cool. But after that song [featuring] Lil’ Wayne, they seem like a Warped Tour band,” Srivatsa said.
Regardless of your opinion on Weezer, it’s beneficial to know what “selling out” means in this day and age. Most bands make most of their revenues from touring – not from digital or hard copy record sales. Support the music scene, whether big or small!
Make sure to vote before the polls close on Nov. 30 at 11:59 p.m. For more information, visit the T-Mobile Facebook fan page.
SIMONE WAHNG can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.