Southern Comfort spins Rhapsody download, party tricks - McKinney

Southern Comfort spins Rhapsody download, party tricks

November 26, 2007

Southern Comfort is now inviting fans to upload party tricks, and offering Rhapsody downloads to participants. The giveaway, which started earlier this month, involves a total of 50,000 downloads. That action is happening online at the SoCo Night Institute (soconightinstitute.com), a tongue-in-cheek academy that features user-uploaded video instructions on how to create concoctions, serve after-party snacks, and perform party tricks. Each submission is rewarded with a free Rhapsody download, and if the video is accepted into the “nightlife skills curriculum,” a total of 10 downloads are offered.

For Southern Comfort, the Institute is designed to create a good times theme around its brand. But whether consumers are motivated by gratis downloads remains questionable, especially given the quick availability of freebies elsewhere. That is the difficult terrain that Rhapsody has struggled against, though the SoCo partnership is part of a serious promotional and advertising ramp-up. Just recently, Rhapsody owner RealNetworks was joined by MTV Networks in a joint digital music partnership, a power-play aimed at unseating Apple and luring finicky music fans. The two companies now jointly oversee the Rhapsody brand.