J-Shock US Debut Campaign



a label formed to distribute Jrock to American audiences


To market and promote new albums from JSHOCK’s debut artists, internationally-acclaimed D’espairsRay and newcomers The Underneath.

Brought on as JSHOCK’s marketing management team, EINSOF Marketing Group needed to introduce the new label to the U.S. market, reach an established niche fanbase that wasn’t used to paying for material goods (downloading online for free instead), and expand the target market to include mainstream fans, all while facing the challenge of marketing a brand new band, The Underneath, and marketing D’espairsRay albums to fans who often already owned them in digital format.


We branded The Underneath and D’espairsRay as JSHOCK debut artists, and paired them in all promotional activities to encourage D’espairsRay fans to bring their devotion to The Underneath. This strategy had the added effect of bringing interest to the new label, encouraging fans to cultivate brand loyalty to JSHOCK.

Pairing and branding the two bands together proved advantageous, especially in light of the fact that they were both booked on the ROCKSTAR Taste of Chaos tour. Working together with several vendors, we grabbed this opportunity and framed our marketing campaign around the tour, putting together an expansive strategy that aggressively promoted the bands’ appearances and releases through numerous channels.

We created a micro-site to center our campaign, and aimed to garner the site widespread exposure to increase the engagement of current fans and grow the fanbase by introducing as many new fans to the bands as possible. From offline street team campaigning at tour dates, pop culture conventions, and concert venues, to campaigning online, we did it all. Using the data collected from previous market research on JrockRevolution.com, we knew that our target audience was geographically widely dispersed, heavy users of the Internet, and less likely to purchase English-language magazines or print goods.

Armed with that knowledge, we began the campaign with an e-mail blast to over 300,000 recipients, all of whom were existing or potential fans of Japanese music and culture. Using guerrilla tactics and an army of eager fans, we drove traffic through social media channels to the campaign micro-site, which was packed with awesome freebies and downloads. The site encouraged visitors to both enroll in the mailing list and join the street team for prizes, band merch, and other reward incentives. We narrowed down the websites visited by our niche market, placing ads and securing press everywhere we determined we might encounter our target audience.

Offline, we ran press and public relations to set up publicity events, autograph signings, and meet and greets cross-branded with TokyoPop, F.Y.E., and Hot Topic. Through our partners, we created and placed ads on both television and radio, and ran special promotional events and panel discussions at pop culture conventions across the country. Our street teams pounded the pavements nationwide, attending Japanese pop culture conventions and giving out tens of thousands of flyers, posters, and other promotional materials.


We secured a high level of exposure for D’espairsRay and The Underneath, and subsequently built brand recognition for the JSHOCK label, which was crucial to their overall development goals in the United States and North America.



20 different banners were used in a banner campaign, generating a total of 488,133 impressions by the end of the campaign. Our average clickthrough rate (CTR) was 12.4%. In comparison, according to analytics firm Jupiter Research, the average online banner CTR at the time was only 0.5%.


358 street team members in the United States and Canada participated in our campaign, distributing nearly 30,000 flyers and 300 posters. We also attended 11 special events, including 8 pop culture conventions, and handed out 23,150 flyers.



Along with one of our partners, we serviced over 245 media outlets, which resulted in:

  • 4 magazine covers, including AP Magazine
  • 31 news placements, including Star Tribune, Asbury Park Press, Alternative Press, Billboard.com, and Blabbermouth
  • 6 magazine features, including Purple Sky Magazine, PopJNeo, and Las Vegas Weekly
  • 26 webzine features, including ongoing coverage at JrockRevolution.com, Jrevolution.com, and DiNG Something
  • 4 radio station placements, including ongoing promotions and airplay at Tainted Reality, Shibuya Airwaves, and The Witching Hour, WCHZ 95
  • Television coverage by Fuse and Label Network TV
  • Music videos running on Much Music, MTV2
  • Commercials running on MTV2, Adult Swim, Spike TV