Innovative Single “Launch” Takes Belgian Indie Rock Band, Garcia Goodbye, To New Heights.

Comments: 18

Here on we focus on marketing strategies that get consistent results and ultimately lead to generating a profit from your music.
However sometimes you need to throw all the strategy out the window and just do something cool.
That’s exactly what Belgium Indie Rock Band, Garcia Goodbye, did when they decided to launch their new single… literally.
Far from the traditional approach of hiring a radio promoter, spending money on advertising, and then hitting the road to support their release, the band simply decided they’d tie approximately 100 USB flash drives, containing a WAV file of their new single, to balloons and release them into the sky.
In addition to the WAV files, the USB flash drives contained a PDF README file in 4 different languages. In these README files, the band asked anyone who found the drives get in touch and let them know just how far the wind had carried the balloons. As an incentive the band promised to come and visit whoever’s balloon had traveled the longest distance.

I spoke with front man, Tommy Gontie, and he explained that they had hoped that at least 10% of the balloons would be found. Their calculations were pretty spot-on. The band got 9 replies from people spread out across a fair portion of Europe.

They eventually had to drive all the way to Scandinavia (800 km from their hometown). Other balloons were reported in their neighboring countries, Holland and Germany.

“The cool thing is: maybe in 30 years time, someone will find a key and we will be reminded of the crazy plan we worked out,” explained Tommy.
You might be thinkin’… 9 people hear their single, what kind of a difference could that possibly make to their careers?
Well, the band made a Youtube video documenting the release. The idea was so fun, refreshing, and just plain cool, that it’s begun to go viral.

In fact, the video even caught the attention of Coldplay and the band decided to post the video on their hypnofeed.

From there the media attention has begun to snowball. Their YouTube video has garnished over 23,000 views in just over a week. Though you can bet that the number will only continue to climb.

They’ve even received radio and prime time television coverage all as a result of what Tommy called, “a huge success with the cheapest idea I ever had”.

It just goes to show that sometimes even the most advanced marketing strategy can be trumped by a little creativity and initiative. Combine the two and you’ll become an unstoppable force. That seems to be the case for Garcia Goodbye.

What’s the most creative music promotional you’ve ever thought up?

Share your ideas and/or experiences below in the comments and the best idea will get a FREE copy of the Viral Music Tool Kit ($49.95 value), or credit of equal value which can be used towards any of my products. (Winner will be selected by yours truly and announced via the comments within 30 days of this post).

And hey, if you don’t want to enter the contest but just want to share your thoughts… I’d still love to hear from you.

This should be fun…


  • Rick Barker says:

    I have made a great living taking proven ideas and putting my own twist on them. So just because you hear something that was cool, take it and make it cooler, don’t just not do it. There are 1000’s of cover songs, not just one, same point.

    Here is one we did and continue to do. We went to a local car lot and asked if we could give away a free cd with a test drive. The car lot had my bands CD in the CD player for the test drive and gave it to the potential client when they left. Now here is the cool part. We just got our music listened to without radio airplay. We now have people in that city who might come to a show because they have heard of us…….. I think you get the point. You could also offer more music or another freebie sending them to your website and now you will have their contact info. I hope this inspires and helps.


    • John Oszajca says:

      Hi Rick,

      Yeah, that’s definitely an original and cool idea. Did you have any kind of info on the packaging or disc that would direct them to a web page, or some place to sign up to your mailing list?

      Interested in hearing how it played out for you.

      Thanks for sharing, let me know if I can ever help with anything.

  • Damen says:

    Thanks for sharing John,
    It’s the first time that I’ve heard of this story.
    It puts a big smile on my face.
    I always love when I hear about success stories that come from a simple and original idea.
    Well done to the guys.
    Perhaps one day I will have one bright moment myself and come up with something special…..:)

  • johnny says:

    We knew Emimem was coming to town. Opening for him was not an option. So we rented gear and set up right outside the stadium but eel flyered everyone on the way in with flyers that said “Dilemmanade” performing tonight with special guest opener eminem. We put on a concert for about 20, 000 people in the parking lot after. It was epic.

  • June Caravel says:

    What a cool idea! I had a cool idea too to promote my album The A Cappella Sessions: do a busking tour of Australia. I landed there with no money and decided i would only live off what people gave me in the street while busking. Not only did I survive 2 months, toured Australia and was back in time for my return flight 2 months later. And you can even see the mini-series video i did from the whole adventure on my website if you go on the Busking in Australia page! Enjoy!

  • Nick108 says:

    SurpRISING! idea.

  • Phil Johnson says:

    It’s definitely a cool idea. I’m just wondering why no one has remembered that Jack White did the same thing about six months ago. Though I think he used vinyl. Because he’s Jack White after all.

    One of my favorite promos we did was for a show in San Francisco. We got a bunch of candy bars and re-wrapped them with custom labels that were a flyer for our show. Then we dressed our roadie in a gorilla costume with our tshirt on. We took him to a bunch of hot spots in SF to hand out free candy bars to people as we followed behind and told them more about the show and the band.

    • John Oszajca says:

      A for effort man. A gorilla costume and everything. Love it.

      To be honest, I didn’t know about the Jack White balloon launch until you brought it up. Seems a couple of big bands have done similar things. I think what sets this story apart, a little bit anyway, is that it was an indie band that generated a lot of media attention out of thin air (pardon the pun), as a result of this relatively low cost idea. As apposed to a large band that already had the attention of the media simply continuing to engage. But don’t get me wrong, Jack White is a bad-ass and is always on the cutting edge with this stuff. He’s definitely one to watch.

  • Michael says:

    That is one of the coolest promo ideas I’ve ever heard. Seriously thinking about buying a bunch of pigeons that could carry thumbdrives to points unknown… 🙂

    I’m doing a Facebook contest where people who share my single get entered to win an mp3 player loaded with all my music and videos. I’ve had a reasonably good response so far and will probably run it again…

  • John Oszajca says:

    Share your ideas and/or experiences below in the comments and the best idea will get a FREE copy of the Viral Music Tool Kit ($49.95 value), or credit of equal value which can be used towards any of my products. (Winner will be selected by yours truly and announced via the comments within 30 days of this post).

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