(from Billboard Magazine, October 20, 2012) In February, Indie band, Aranda, approached Trey Rick, Coordinator of Academic Operations at the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma, with the prospect of Rick’s students marketing their second studio album, Stop the World. The album had already released six months earlier via digital distribution, but the band needed a stronger footing online. “They had a think tank of students who looked at our branding and social media. They assessed what we looked like to the outside world, something we have a hard time doing,” says vocalist Gabe Aranda.
Rick’s Music Marketing and Retail 2 students first studied where the band had traction on the internet and measured buzz by interviewing siblings. Based on the students’ research, the six best marketing proposals were submitted to the band. The ultimate decision was to rerelease the album. “I liked how out of order everything was,” says Rick, “it broke the barriers of anything you could find in the textbook that said do this six weeks in advance, do this nine weeks in advance. We treated it like it was just released.”
The students hit the ground running, establishing Aranda on Twitter, Topspin, and Facebook. In addition to revamping the band’s social media, the students created Aranda’s website, branded store, and a lyric video for their single “Satisfied.” Though Aranda may sound local, they had already gained a somewhat national presence from touring with Saving Abel and Theory of a Deadman. After working with the students however, “Satisfied” started rising up the chart, selling more than 1,000 downloads per week and peaking at number 14 on Active Rock.
The added attention eventually drew the notice of Wind-up Records. The label signed a deal with Aranda to rerelease Stop the World on October 16. Alan Galbraith, General Manager of Wind-up says, “We’re constantly trying to find anybody making inroads, and they did that at radio and online. It’s a real example of a band putting themselves on our radar rather than waiting for us to find them.”