Cross-Channel Storytelling: What We Can All Learn From The Dew Tour…and Warren G

Off the bat here, you may be thinking what in the world could Warren G and an Olympic-qualifying skateboarding competition have in common? Well for one, he put on a killer concert to top off day 3 of ASN (Adventure Sports Network) Group’s Dew Tour competition, but more than that, the way in which Warren G creates music actually draws a number of parallels to the way ASN Group produced the event and how social media amplified it.

Now I’ll admit I’m no expert in musical composition, but while on site this past weekend at Dew Tour, I happened to grab a beer at the hotel bar alongside Warren G after the show and gained some interesting insight into how he goes about making music. He told me that he tries to create in different ways building upon base level beats that may exist already and turns it into something completely new after adding other sounds and ad-libbing off of it. This method was on full display in his performance at Dew Tour where he played one of his top hits Regulators with the local high school drum line as the base beat.

Thinking about the different elements of Dew Tour, I found quite a few similarities to this concept in how we produced the show. Let’s start with the base beat: skating. It’s what the event is built around; it’s why we’re there. Adding in announcers on broadcast and emcee’s within the venue, now we have context and substance around the base beat, but it’s not necessarily something brand new. That’s where social media comes into the mix.

Social content in this case is the ad-lib; it’s the emotional reaction that can elevate and morph the base beat into something new and relatable. The challenge for producers or hosts of any event is to use that content effectively to build a story around the beat. To do so requires precise timing and cross-channel promotion, which ASN Group put into use at this year’s Dew Tour in Long Beach, CA making a truly unique experience. This video runs through a quick recap of the event, but let’s dive into each cross-channel activation and how they add to the composition.



In Venue Promotion

The key to generating conversation around an event generally starts where the action is taking place. A clear call to action should be promoted throughout the event, and the experiences available should encourage attendees to post about it. Within the Dew Tour Long Beach venue, they did an excellent job of creating shareable experiences. From small skate parks for kids, to concerts and autograph sessions, the atmosphere was electric and generated content on its own.

The Dew Tour event staff did a great job of centralizing the conversation by displaying #DewTour on signage, promoting it vocally through the emcee, and ultimately displaying that content on screens throughout the space. When I say that, I don’t just mean they put a bunch of selfies on screen. No, what turned this event into something new and unique is how they used specific content to tell a story and highlight activities around the space.

Whether they showed a post from the skater who just won or barely missed the cut, or they brought up a fan who met their favorite skater at an autograph session, the content was meaningful. It added to the experience and elevated the moments that made the event truly special.

Live Stream Interaction

Outside of the venue experience, ASN Group provided an interactive medium for their wider global audience who couldn’t make it out to Long Beach through several live streaming options. This is where social can really provide that unique ad-lib layer.

Throughout the broadcast streaming across Facebook Live, Youtube, Periscope and the Dew Tour website, the ASN Group producers incorporated a wide variety of content from viewers around the world making the broadcast feel interactive and relatable. While our base beat, skating, provides entertainment and announcers offer great insight into the competition, it’s the social commentary often times that viewers really want and that makes the broadcast distinctly personal.

From raw, real-time reaction comments, to heartfelt congratulatory messages, the Dew Tour utilized social content to not only enhance the broadcast, but to make their audience feel like a part of the show. When you see other fans tuning in all across the world from India, Brazil, Poland, South Africa and many more, it immediately makes you a character in what you’re watching and the story being told.

Digital Integrations

Now for the final audio edit. The polish that brings everything together and allows the experience to live long after the event. Digital properties like a website or mobile app provide the perfect real estate to compile all of the content curated during the event and continue the conversation after it.

The Dew Tour website served as this real estate showcasing all of the stories told through social throughout the competition on both their social hub page and directly below the broadcast during the event. Having this all encompassing collection of content allows fans to revisit the special moments and continue sharing their experience long after the event. Every song needs a final edit to publish it and every event needs a digital space to capture the conversation around it.

Next event, take a few lines out of Warren G’s lyrics and add in some social ad-lib to make it feel new and enticing. Without ad-lib, you have a typical base level beat, which some may enjoy. But with ad-lib and other layers added to the mix, now we have something interesting. With social immersed in your event across every channel you own, now you have something unique; something people want to talk about.