Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Have an "Ice" Wednesday

It's here.

After an 8-year wait, millions around the world are eagerly handing over cash and credit card information to soak up a re-charged version of a brand that has remain essentially unchanged for the past three decades.

The "Thunder from Down Under", Australian rockers AC/DC are back with "Black Ice", their fifteenth studio album released worldwide this week (October 18, 2008 for Australia and October 20 for the rest of us). It's their first album since the release of Stiff Upper Lip in 2000, also marks the longest gap between AC/DC's studio albums to date.

Incredibly, the product remains relevant while the band refuses to compromise its winning brand formula:

- Angus Young in the school boy outfit doing the Chuck Berry duck walk.
- Brian Johnson back in full voice with his trademark cap
- Malcolm Young and Cliff Williams supplying a stationary stage presence, designed to keep the spotlight on the guys in front.
- Phil Rudd maintaining the beat - minus any drum rolls.

Here is the first video single from "Black Ice", to enjoy with your corn flakes this morning as The Seamless Brand goes for a ride on the "Rock and Roll Train".

With the release of "Black Ice", Columbia Records and Walmart created a "Rock Again AC/DC Store" within all of its stores across America.This is the first time in history where Walmart has taken such a large area within their stores to celebrate the release of a new album. "Black Ice" trucks are also operating on the streets of New York City and Los Angeles for the rest of this week with interactive elements that fill the air with AC/DC music and allow players to demo the new AC/DC LIVE: Rock Band(R) Track Pack game on the truck's back stage.

There is also a social media component being used to spread the "Black Ice" buzz all over YouTube as lead singer Brian Johnson extended this invitation to diehard AC/DC acolytes:

"Black Ice" is AC/DC's longest studio album to date. Some fans are already calling it the bands best release since 1990's "The Razor's Edge".

But how do they pull it off?

In other words, why do legions of fans gobble up even more records, concert tickets and merchandise from a band that has not changed either its look or sound (for the most part) since 1973? Do you know of any other act in any form of show business that made millions just by sticking to the basics?

Is there something in the AC/DC approach to business that could amplify your brand?

"There are all sorts of cute puppy dogs, but it doesn't stop people from going out and buying Dobermans" ANGUS YOUNG

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