Budweiser is now offering a limited-edition beer that’s not only branded with Metallica’s logo, but also “imbued with the band’s essence.” Nasty!
91,000 cans of this stuff will be made available exclusively in Quebec City. Is that a big Metal town? I have no idea. But I’m pretty sure this is a product most Metallica fans neither asked for nor wanted — yet here it is; bottoms up.
What does any of this have to do with independent music, you might ask? Well, not much. Metallica is one of the biggest acts in the world, and Budweiser… they’re doing just fine too. This band/beer partnership, though, made me feel a little bit of merch shame. I might not ever have my own beer, but surely I can cover the absolute basics like setting up a merch booth at shows and offering t-shirts, right?
Sadly, I have a merch confession: I didn’t even set up merch at my last show. (Gasp!) It was a small club, I was excited to hang out with the other act on the bill (my friends Sofia and Jonas who were touring the States from Germany), one of my best friends from childhood ended up coming to the show, then the rush to get my gear set up, and suddenly it’s time to go on.
Meanwhile, glowing in the corner of the room, as if calling to everyone in attendance, is Sofia’s totally pro merch setup. It’s portable, eye-catching, neatly arranged, and even features an iPad that scrolls beautiful pictures of all her discs, shirts, etc.
Ah, that sweet motivating mix of envy and shame. So… time to get my act together (again). And time to revisit some of the merch advice that’s appeared on this blog, from the tried-and-true essentials to the experimental and quirky:
Are there merch rules you keep breaking? Why? Have you offered something really unique to your fans that became a big hit? Let us know in the comments.