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Zippo lights up music association with in-app concert information

Lighter brand Zippo and concert discovery application Bandsintown have teamed up to offer concert tour date information directly from within the free Zippo app.

The partnership is a way to further strengthen its connection with musicians. Bandsintown will now power the Virtual Zippo Lighter app for iOS and Android, which enables users to light a virtual lighter and hold it up during concerts.

"Zippo has played a vital role in the live music experience for decades now, and we?re always on the lookout for exciting partnerships that will increase our engagement with bands and fans,? said Brent Tyler, global brand manager at the Zippo Manufacturing Co., Bradford, PA.

?The Bandsintown community consists of millions of music fans so it made perfect sense for us, to further our reach to millennial consumers who are plugged into social media and mobile technology,? he said.

?Whether it's working directly with artists to design limited-edition lighters or bringing our successful Virtual Zippo Lighter to mobile devices, this partnership will only intensify Zippo's commitment to music and the arts.?

Strike up the band
Zippo has a music marketing program that involves on-site festival activations, contests and online programs. This summer, Zippo sponsored the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival, the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and Lee Brice's tour with Brad Paisley.

The Bandsintown partnership will enable Zippo to more deeply engage with Bandsintown concert-goers during live music events while bringing the same look and feel of the Zippo lighter to mobile devices.

The Bandsintown app reaches more than 30 million music fans every month and is official Facebook app of the 2013 Vans Warped Tour.

When users open the Virtual Zippo Lighter app, they see a version of the classic Zippo lighter, with dozens of skins to choose from.

Users can open the lighter with a flick of their wrist and will then hear the clink sound associated with opening a real-world lighters.

The app lights with a turn of the thumb and the flame sways as users move their device and reacts when you try to blow it out, which is aimed at consumers attending evening concerts.

The app also makes a sound when the lighter is closed.

Musical merchandise
The partnership also includes a revenue-generating opportunity for musicians by enabling them to sell customized Zippo merchandise on social networks.

Using Bandsintown?s direct-to-consumer Specials platform, bands will be able to promote event-related merchandise, including customized Zippo merchandise, through their own Facebook and Twitter channels.

For example, Bandsintown artist Battlecross polled its nearly 40,000 Facebook fans on which Zippo Windproof Lighter out of four custom designs they would like to see put into production. Hundreds of fans responded ? making it the most responded to post in the band?s history.

A final design was selected and the lighter is currently on sale for $29.95 through the band's Facebook page.

Initially, the merchandise strategy will only be available on desktop but Bandsintown expects to bring it to mobile in the future.

"Both music and mobile have played an increasingly crucial role in a brand's marketing mix in recent years,? said Julien Mitelberg, CEO of Bandsintown, San Diego.

?As we roll out this offering to purchase customized lighters directly through artist fan pages, we are first gauging the reaction and adoption of both brands and bands on desktops only,? he said.

?It?s our goal to offer a purchase option on mobile in the very near future. This will be part of phase 2, where we announce more exciting partnerships we have in the pipeline.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York