My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Sunday, Jun 06, 2008
3

Is WOM different in Europe…and why Frank Black (Black Francis) is awesome!


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I visit YouTube a lot but I know I am not using it to it’s fullest potential because instead of looking for funny videos of people doing funny things (and I use Funny subjectively) I pretty much use YouTube to find old Letterman and old Tom Snyder interviews….and one other thing.

I rely on YouTube to keep me knee deep in rare and hard to find music appearances. Yes YouTube to me is what BootLeg Tapes were 15 years ago.

So now that you know the background I can start telling you about what this blog post is about.

In a recent YouTube search of Frank Black (Black Francis) concerts I came across something very cool that he did on a recent European Tour. The tour was called PRECOR and basically before every show Frank Black would do the shows encore FIRST…usually outside of the venue or in a nearby public spot to get people excited about the upcoming show.

Now since I am a fan I think this is super cool and an excellent way to get some chatter going for the tour and the show…..thing is there is very little chatter at all. Some of these videos have been up for three months and less than 300 people have watched them!

Sure you could say Frank Black may not be a huge star in these places but from what I could tell the shows were all sold out so this got me thinking…is Word Of Mouth Marketing completely different in Europe?

Sure it is another part of the world and you can’t assume that what is a big deal in North America will be a big deal there but is it so different that if you do something unusual and interesting that people will not chat it up and rather just keep it to themselves?

Anyway I don’t have the answers here but would love them if anyone does, so please leave a comment or email me!

…and just so we can appreciate a little Frank I am now going to present you some cool PRECOR videos!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pewu-uMczwQ]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7GX3XxF-o8]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XGKSoiGvAE]

Response
  1. Hey Saul,

    The Pixies were pretty big in Europe in the eighties and early nineties, and Black Francis/Frank Black is well known (at least by anyone who went to university in Europe in the nineties). I don’t really have an answer for you but I don’t think that WOM is much different in Europe. What he did is just a great way of engaging with the hardcore fans, and maybe getting around having to play Pixies songs during the regular set just to please the audience.

    But that would work the same way in North American cities. Maybe he came up with the idea because there is a pretty big busker/street musician tradition in European cities? I have no idea. But if you hear that he is playing on some street corner in Toronto, let me know and I’ll be there.

    — Martin

  2. Hi Saul,

    Actually I think WOM is different in Europe, partly cultural and partly by the type and use of technology as a WOM mechanism. [By way of background, I have lived in Europe for years and have immediately family there still] and I find that North Americans do talk everything up a lot more than Europeans and the barriers of sharing any sort of personal information is much higher in Europe, particular the continent, than North Americans. So that may be partly why.

    I do wonder though that if Frank Blank was doing more with SMS if it would have better take up since that is a much more utilized technology than YouTube, Facebook, etc…

    –Amrita

  3. Hey Saul!

    Interesting post. WOM, like many things, is different in North America than Europe.

    However, maybe the issue is Frank Black. I’m not that old and I am not that young….but who IS Frank Black?

    Maybe it’s an age thing on why his YouTube videos are not getting much attention. WOMMA had a recent post about blogger demographics and another on online video minutes.

    Check them out at:

    http://www.womma.com/blog/

    Karim

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