Ticket Seller Touts Service Across The Nation

Cityside

Some might consider an upstart company going up against the likes of eBay (owner of StubHub) and Ticketmaster to be folly, but the executives at CitySide Tickets, Inc. think the opportunity is ripe for a third option.

"We believe there's a lot of interest outside of the [business] Ticketmaster has their hands on," Michael McCarthy, director of investor relations for CitySide, tells Marketing Daily. And with the backlash against Ticketmaster's upcoming merger with Live Nation, consumers may soon be searching for another outlet. "We believe there's going to be a lot more of that happening."

Already a presence in Boston, CitySide is looking to create a national footprint, first through acquisitions in major markets (such as New York and Florida), McCarthy says. As the company looks to grow, it has also embarked on a national television advertising campaign. The 30-second ad began airing this week on cable networks such as CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, Bloomberg and Fox News.

The commercial is very direct. It opens with a man holding a cardboard sign reading: "I need tickets," and continues with an attractive woman touting the company's brand promise ("the best seats in the best cities at the best prices") set to an upbeat jazzy soundtrack. Simple approaches like this, however, have a way of catching on with consumers (à la Head-On and Snuggie).

Running more than 500 times over 21 days, McCarthy estimates the commercial will reach more than 8 million viewers, McCarthy says. "It's the right time," he says. "We've spent five months putting this together, negotiating with the networks, and now it all culminates in this."

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