Indy Racing To Get Its Ass Kissed

It comes as no surprise that a business full of clowns would add one more to its big top. Scratch that. What you are about to read is shocking!

Bassist Gene Simmons is a marketing genius. He turned the 1970s hair band Kiss into an almost $1 billion enterprise by licensing the band’s name and looks to everything from credit cards to a Kiss-opoly board game. Coming soon: a Kiss Babies cartoon, Kiss Broadway plays, a Kiss casino and even Kiss toothbrushes. Now Simmons, 56, wants to market his marketing. With Richard Abramson, who managed Pee-Wee Herman’s career and invented insurance-backed film financing, Simmons has started a company to help businesses sharpen their message. His first client: Indy Racing League, the Nascar competitor that runs the Indianapolis 500. He recently talked to FORBES about his new gig.
Q. How in the world did you convince Indy to work with you?
A. The first thing we said was that their logo sucked. I didn’t know what it was, and it just didn’t connect with me. And they were all over the place. You have to simplify the message. You go to Burger King and know you can have it your way. That’s all you need to know.
Q. What are your plans for Indy?
A. We’re going to have an Indy-girl clothing line. We’re going to have Indy soapbox racers. Let school kids come up with a logo for a forthcoming race and compete for scholarships. The problem with school is that the reward is a grade, not money.
Q. Do you have any other clients yet?
A. Are we interested in other companies? Sure. But only at the highest levels. There aren’t enough hours in the day to take vice presidents and secretaries through learning curves. If you’re not talking to the head guy, it doesn’t matter.

[via American Copywriter]



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.