The TLP Network

Sharing the Hate, Spreading the Pain: On the Coattail Effect

by on Nov.15, 2007, under Articles, Sharing the Hate

The coattail effect is defined as, “The tendency for a popular political party leader to attract votes for other candidates of the same party in an election.”

This simple theory states that less popular groups ride the coattails of more popular groups in order to increase their own popularity. By selectively riding the right coattails, you place yourself in a position for others to ride your coattails.

This effect is very important to groups such as the TLP when putting together set lists, and should be very important to bands when they decide where to play and who to play with. Rather than spend more time talking about bills for bands, we will use this opportunity instead to explain more about our motto, “Bringing a ‘national’ feel to unsigned and independent artists.”

Just as any local band discovers when you get a whole bunch of bands that no one has heard of on one bill the result is no one shows up. Since our set lists are akin to a lineup, and our website is akin the stage, the same theories hold true for us as a venue.

If we put together a set list of ten bands no one has heard of, new people will be hesitant to listen to the show. New people also have a harder time finding our episodes in random searches for places to spend their time. People want some level of familiarity from artists that they know, and want to hear songs they know too.

If they did not want a level of familiarity, then marketing techniques such as “Sounds like,” and “Fans of Band Should Check Out,” would not appear on websites and CDs from national acts. These national acts take matters one-step further and tell you which songs their labels thinks the singles should be. People can see the CD on the shelf, know what it sounds like, and what they should listen to first before they take the shrink-wrapping off the product.

The hidden power of having episodes lies in the ability for people to listen to a full six to eleven bands in an episode, with one or two of them being a headlining draw for the episode. People will generally listen to the whole episode, and the smaller bands receive the coattail effect from the larger bands on the set-list.

Additionally we take unsigned bands, and use their songs as backing tracks and music beds for our talking sweeper segments such as intros, outros, and generic information repeated each episode. We make people familiar with unsigned songs subconsciously through repetition without having to play the songs repeatedly. When we do play the song, you are already familiar with it from the sweepers.

In the future, when you see your band name along side a major act, consider the gesture the same as opening for that act. In our case, there is a record of it for years to come, and we did not make you sell 50 tickets in advance to be on our bill.

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