A startling and refreshing admission of failure from Jay Marciano, the European CEO of AEG, host of the Brits:
Eight out of ten people don't know the Brits is on tonight"You're the man in charge of promoting what is meant to be the biggest musical event in the nation. It has a live slot on one of the main TV channels, and is co-sponsored by one of the UK's largest radio companies and the nation's biggest newspaper publisher. And still eight out of ten people have it drift by without them noticing. Now, it's not like this is an expedition to the North Pole, but I imagine you'd be proposing giving someone else the chance of promoting next year to see if they might be able to do a bit better?
"so we plan to make it a week-long celebration."Oh, of course. Having failed to get anyone to notice a massive gig on a single night, you think watering it down across a series of nights would somehow help.
The model Marciano is proposing is copying the Grammys - so not spinning the prize giving out over a calendar week, but boosting the main event by having a run of concerts running up to it.
It's not entirely clear how this is going to work. If this is to boost the 20% awareness rate, these extra gigs will have to be very special and very high profile.
How are you going to get the top-line acts you need to play this? It's unlikely ITV are going to want to televise a solid week of gigs, certainly not on ITV1, not during the European football season. Maybe ITV2 might pick them up, or one of the more distant music channels. But the more digits in the channel position on the EPG, the lower the audience, so the lower the chance of attracting top acts, and the lesser the chance of raising 'awareness'.
And that, of course, is a downward spiral.
And where are you going to find bands wanting to play one-off dates in a massive space like the O2? You might get someone to redirect an existing tour there, but is there going to be any enthusiasm for redirecting a European leg of a tour to London at the same time as everyone else?
Wasn't the idea of the Brits to support and promote British music - not for British musicians to be pressed in to service to support the Brits?
[Thanks to James in the Brits liveblog comments for the link]