Free Bird: A Groupon Lynyrd Skynrd Case Study

  • Challenge: ’70s southern rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, needs to recruit a new generation of listeners while attracting older fans.
  • Solution: Groupon ticket sales during their 2013 tour for almost half price.
  • Results (fantasy): People will sample Lynyrd Skynyrd, as if they’re an ice cream cone or a new Thai restaurant, and then be willing to pay full price for seats at next year’s tour.

I’m joking. Playing to a capacity crowd, even if they sell tickets at less than face value, will help Lynyrd Skynyrd earn more money than playing to an empty house. It’ll also help them sell more copies of the CD they released last year. That’s why this Groupon deal makes more financial sense then when a local ice cream parlor or Thai restaurant gives away product to people whose only loyalty is to finding the next deal. And, oh yeah, Bad Company are playing, too.


About Robert Moss

I write ads: traditional, non-traditional, interactive, edutainment, story-based, broadcast, and experiential marketing events. Sometimes I write about ads and the business of advertising. Sometimes I write about other stuff. The views expressed here are solely my own and don't reflect the views of my employers. I also published a novel called Descending Memphis that's getting great reviews on Amazon. see
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2 Responses to Free Bird: A Groupon Lynyrd Skynrd Case Study

  1. Your call is correct.
    I think they are using Groupon as sales channel to clear out excess capacity that cannot be inventoried and not as a marketing channel to bring in new fans who will stay loyal. Note also that for the concert organizers all the costs are sunk and the marginal cost is zero.
    For those who want the concert experience this may be big incentive to attend and if some newbies stay that is extra but they likely are not betting on it.

    • Robert Moss says:

      Rags, In the pharmaceutical industry, the phrase “off-label use” is when doctors prescribe a drug approved by the FDA to treat patients suffering from a disease that the drug was not intended for. I believe “off-label use” of Groupon, like Lynyrd Skynyrd’s deal, can be more effective than as a deal-of-the-day marketing program designed to build customer loyalty.

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