Opening For The Opener

The Backstory

Former Daredevil Production artist, Jacob Cade, from Denver, Colorado, had the opportunity to go to new market, Scottsdale, AZ, to open for an 80’s rock band, Dokken.

Jacob hadn’t ever played the Phoenix market. He was a ghost in this town.

The gig was at BLK Live which is a larger club (about 800-1200 capacity).

Our artist was the opener. So, Jacob went on at 8:00 pm, then the direct support act, then the headliner…in other words, nobody would be there to see him.

Tickets were $60 dollars.

We know that even if we put the coolest possible ad in a consumer’s Facebook feed, we’re not going to get them to come off $60 for an unknown artist.

The strategy we chose was to target people who love the headliner, within a 50-mile radius of the venue. The ad copy was written to assume that these fans already purchased tickets so the language we used was “Come early. Don’t miss this!” as opposed to “buy tickets”.


I asked for a $200 budget. We spent $202 and you can see the numbers.

  • 400 people showed up at 8 pm to see that kid play.
  • They sold $200 in merch.
  • The club owner, completely aware of the traffic habits of his crowd, was blown away by the crowd and invited Jacob back to play.

Head Scratcher:

The Manager of Dokken (the headliner) offered us the rest of the tour…we weren’t expecting that.

They would only do this because we DID sell tickets.

But they didn’t buy tickets to see our artist…we out-promoted the promoter! 

We sold tickets to two categories of people:

  • Category 1 – were people who were probably touched by the promoter’s radio ads (the week before the show) once or twice and forgot about it or were on the fence.
    • Our artist and the ad made the decision for them; essentially put the cherry on top.
  • Category 2 – people who said, “Dokken is in town?!?!?!? How did I NOT know about this?”

Digital marketing can be an incredible method to add value to a headline act by selling tickets normal promotion methods couldn’t. Thus, creating the opportunity to extend tours and therefore exposure while simultaneously accumulating data on the exact people who fell in love with the artist.

The Video Ad

The Results