Zune Arts Graphic Novel

Client

Zune Arts for Microsoft / 72andSunny

RRE Service

Custom Publishing, Web Content & Influencer Marketing

Location

Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, D.C.

Task

Create a collectible and buzzworthy graphic novel for the Zune Arts target demographic of tech-savvy tastemakers with a keen interest in the arts; produce web clips of each of the featured artists; and implement a national advertising and marketing plan that included a seven-city book tour

Application

Graphic Novel: RRE called upon writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), and four of today’s hottest alternative artists—Gary Panter, Dr. Revolt, Kime Buzzelli and Morning Breath—to write and illustrate a story titled “The Lost Ones.” Each artist illustrated one chapter of the graphic novel. The caliber of the contributors, and the quality of their work, made the novel an instant collectible. RRE sourced and managed the writer and artists, and produced, printed and distributed 50,000 copies of the novel nationwide. RRE also produced and designed a limited-edition version of the novel. It was limited to 1,250 copies that included the novel and signed-and-numbered prints, all housed in a silver-foilembossed black hardback case.

Signing Tour: RRE organized, managed and produced the national signing tour for the novel. The signing tour took place in comic shops in seven major U.S. cities. The writer and artists were present to sign the graphic novels, which were given away by Zune. RRE created tour posters that were shipped to the shops prior to the signings, in an effort to promote the in-store events. RRE also implemented advertising plans in each of the markets: choosing the publications, negotiating, buying and designing the ads.

Web Clips: RRE interviewed and filmed each of the artists, and edited the clips to use as mini webisodes on the Zune Arts website. The clips profiled the artists involved and went behind the scenes to capture the making of “The Lost Ones.”

Results

The project increased awareness of Zune’s commitment to the arts by engaging with key influencers in the core audience— fans of the writer and artists, avid graphic novel readers, contemporary art lovers and pop-culture enthusiasts. These “Connectors” took the message to the general public who look to these trendsetters for guidance on the next big thing. Efforts also subsequently increased brand awareness of the Zune platform and drove traffic to Zune-Arts.net.