Last year, artist Katy Perry launched a contest based around her latest hit single, Firework. Tying into the theme of the song, she asked her fans to create a video telling her who was a ‘Firework’ in their lives. Someone that inspired them, and for what reason. The winner and their Firework would get a trip for 4 to London to meet Katy and watch her perform in a concert there. Thousands of videos were submitted from fans across the world, before Cory Woodard from Georgia and his mom were announced as the winners of the contest.
But let’s be honest; this is NOT a contest, it is a promotion for Katy Perry’s song Firework. It’s just that Katy turned the promotion over to her fans. She created a way that fans could create content that would give them a reason share their stories of the people that inspired them in their lives. A contest built around emphasizing the themes of the song Firework, and that would galvanize and inspire her fans. The fans would then turn and promote the video they had created to their friends and networks. And by extension, this contest exposes more people to Katy and her music, and that creates MORE fans for Katy.
But it all starts with Katy being brave enough to put the promotion of the song in the hands of her fans. As you watch the video above, you’ll see how passionate her fans are in the videos. Yes, some look goofy as hell (cue dude dressed as Katy), but the underlying theme is they are all passionate about what they are doing. Katy found a way to connect with the people that are most passionate about her, and she inspired them to share more about someone that inspires them. She found her fans, and inspired them to share their passion with others. Which gives those fans even more reason to love her.
When I see a rockstar connecting with and empowering their fans like this, the question I always ask is ‘Why aren’t companies doing the same thing to connect with their fans?’ And before you answer ‘Because most companies don’t have fans like rockstars do’, ask yourself if rockstars have fans because of what they are, or because of what they do.