RAM: Parties on the House
Reilly, who created the concept of listening parties back in the 1990s while at Polygram Records, facilitates brand parties for a variety of consumer products categories via House Party, his Irvington, New York-based firm.
The buzz marketing agency recently threw a round of parties for NBC to kick off the season premiere of "The Biggest Loser." The strategy, essentially, is to get huge fans or brand fanatics to host in-home gatherings. Lured by product goodies -- in this case, a preview DVD of the show -- consumers register to host parties online. They register directly through the House Party Web site or through a link on clients' sites. Beyond the pre-launch buzz, marketers may contact party guests who are required to register online through a House Party e-mail invitation.
Reilly says marketers' costs start at $100,000 for 1,000 parties. In addition to promoting tv shows, house parties can be used in advance of a movie or DVD release, or to launch new consumer packaged goods, Reilly says. "The Biggest Loser" turned out to be a big winner: The show came in No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings among the House Party target of 18-to-49-year-old females.