The Fleetwood Owen Auction at the Hard Rock Cafe
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The Fleetwood Owen Auction at the Hard Rock Cafe

As a result of the enormous pre-event publicity generated by The MWW Group, the FleetwoodOwen Auction was one of the most highly publicized auctions ever held at Hard Rock Cafe.

Paul Holmes

 

MWW learned that Hard Rock Cafe would be hosting the FleetwoodOwen auction featuring Beatles Memorabilia on October 17, 2000 at Hard Rock Cafe London and simulcast at Hard Rock Cafe New York.  MWW saw this event as an opportunity to capitalize on the media excitement and initiated a major publicity push to promote Mick Fleetwood’s new venture in order to position Hard Rock Cafe and Barrie Lapins, memorabilia acquisitions manager, as the authority on music memorabilia.  The challenge was ensuring Barrie and the Hard Rock message would not be lost or overshadowed by the celebrity of Fleetwood Owen.

As a result of the enormous pre-event publicity generated by The MWW Group, the FleetwoodOwen Auction was one of the most highly publicized auctions ever held at Hard Rock Cafe.  The auction’s premier lot, John Lennon’s “Imagine” piano, was acquired for a record $2.4 million, making it the highest priced single piece of rock memorabilia ever bought in history at auction.  Additionally, Barrie Lapins has received several calls from reporters looking to quote an expert on memorabilia, auctions and the “collecting phenomenon.”

OBJECTIVE:

To effectively inform the general public that Hard Rock Cafe would be hosting the FleetwoodOwen Auction at Hard Rock Cafe London and New York

To effectively position Hard Rock Cafe as the original and most important curator of rock memorabilia and to position Barrie Lapins as an authority on the value of collecting rock memorabilia.

STRATEGIES:

In order to generate interest in the auction and Hard Rock Cafe’s involvement, MWW initiated the coordination of media activities in August.  MWW arranged for Mick Fleetwood and Ted Owen to fly to New York City from London and to bring memorabilia (total value approximately $129,000) to New York for media opportunities.  

MWW capitalized on the auction’s October date to leverage interest in the auction’s focus on Beatles memorabilia and its premier lot, John Lennon’s “Imagine” piano.  MWW recognized that international interest would be focused on the Beatles in October because of the 60th anniversary of John Lennon’s birth on October 9, the launch of a new Beatles Anthology Book and CD, and the 20th anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination on December 8.  

In order to position Hard Rock Cafe as an integral part of the story, we pitched media offering interviews with Barrie Lapins as an authority on the collectible market for rock memorabilia, in addition to interviews with Mick Fleetwood.  MWW’s challenge was to present the media with an opportunity to interview a rock celebrity while maintaining focus on Hard Rock Cafe.  MWW had the additional challenge of optimizing the media’s interest in the “Imagine” piano while retaining Hard Rock Cafe’s positioning as the host of the auction.

TACTICS:

MWW aggressively pitched television, radio and print media and secured interviews with Barrie Lapins and Mick Fleetwood on October 10-11 in New York to promote the auction at Hard Rock Cafe London and New York on October 17.

MWW coordinated plans and arranged for Mick Fleetwood and Ted Owen to fly to New York City from London and transport memorabilia (total value approximately $129,000) to New York for media opportunities.  

MWW obtained photos and b-roll of John Lennon’s “Imagine” piano and 1965 Ferrari for print media in advance of the media tour.

We developed talking points and conducted pre-segment sessions with television producers in order to maintain focus on Hard Rock Cafe and position Barrie Lapins as an authority on rock memorabilia.

MWW facilitated the planning process and implementation of the satellite feed to simulcast the auction at Hard Rock Cafe London and Hard Rock Cafe New York.

MWW distributed a press release and media advisory promoting Hard Rock Cafe as the host of the FleetwoodOwen auction.

RESULTS:

Secured national broadcast interviews for Barrie Lapins and Mick Fleetwood a week before the auction on: Fox News Channel “Fox News Live”, CNBC “Power Lunch,” CNN “Showbiz Today,” CBS-TV “The Early Show” and Fox News Channel “Fox Rules.”

Secured interview with Reuters “Entertainment Feed” and “Newsmaker Package” which generated tremendous international coverage online and offline.

Secured local live radio interviews with Q104 WAXQ-FM and 101.1 WCBS-FM.  Secured live day-of-event coverage from Hard Rock Cafe New York on 1010 WINS Radio.

Secured print interviews and photo features with People Magazine, Rolling Stone Magazine, TV Guide Online and Billboard Magazine.

As a result of the interviews with CNN, Reuters and CBS-TV “The Early Show”, more than 230 stations nationwide aired segments announcing the auction at Hard Rock Cafe London and New York.
The event was included on the Associated Press Daybook and featured on Reuters News Page, Yahoo! News Page, Hollywood.com, Sonicnet.com, BigmouthNews.com, Radioundercover.com, Qonline.co.uk.com, Launch.com, Wallofsound.go.com, Livedaily.com, CDNow.com and CNN.com.

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