The sun was relentless and uncomfortably humid last July 4, but Phoebe (not her real name), a freshman at the Far Eastern University, didn’t mind.
“It’s my first time to actually see the bands in person and it’s just right at our backyard. It’s crazy not to go,” she shared.
She is talking about Cheats, Brisom, Chocolate Grass, Yolanda Moon and Pupil who performed at the third and last stop of the Yahoo On the Road concert tour, attended by 8,000 students who, like Phoebe, didn’t care about the heat or standing for a couple of hours to meet these music icons and the chance to party with their friends.
“This is exactly what I want to hear; fans who love to be here despite this weather and are having fun, says Nitin Mathur (pictured), senior director for marketing at Yahoo Asia Pacific.
The Yahoo On the Road in the Philippines is the first in the region, patterned after the Yahoo On the Road done in the United States and Europe. Yahoo invites bands to go on tour, performing on a one-of-kind mobile stage installed on top of a pimped double decker bus.
Not as big as the New York – San Francisco and Berlin – London tour, Yahoo On the Road’s first run in Asia has attracted a commendable crowd of over 20,000 people after visiting the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and the Lyceum of the Philippines University in the two previous legs of the event.
“This year we wanted to bring it in Asia and I think the crowd and its popularity in Asia will be the best in the world. This effort also jives with the big mobile boom happening as we try to get closer to our audience,” Nitin shared with Marketing.
Yahoo On the Road mainly is a part of a publicity blitz for the rebranded Yahoo Celebrity Awards happening on 18 July but the bus also doubles as a fully equipped experience kiosk where students can try and download Yahoo mobile apps.
While the new Flickr, Yahoo Mail, Tumblr, Yahoo Sports, Weather and News Digest apps shine in innovation, Nitin admits that it has yet to fully take off in the Philippine market and is expecting to see a promotional boost from the event.
“We want to grow our mobile usage and there is a fundamental reason here. New internet users are not using PCs. Just look at those sticks! (referring to dozens of selfie sticks pocking through the crowd).”
“They will access the internet primarily through mobile and when Yahoo users are looking primarily in mobile, it is absolutely important that Yahoo is the starting point. There is a huge amount of growth left to be captured,” he said.
Asked if Yahoo will expand the Yahoo On the Road to an actual country wide concert tour, Nitin said that it is a “possibility” after resonating with the Filipinos enormously. He adds that offline events are important to Yahoo which is predominantly an online brand.
“That is the holy grail. You can look always look at direct statistics and we actually saw a direct spike in traffic at the Yahoo Celebrity site but I think these activations are not for short term gain. Activations to me are also about showcasing the innovation and the newness that Yahoo is bringing to the market.”