Grateful Dead Rejuvenates Site

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The Grateful Dead is preparing to upgrade its Web site this summer in time for the rock band's 40th anniversary.


Targeting longtime fans, known as "Deadheads," as well as new fans, the site at www.dead.net will better reflect the band's culture, music, community and legacy. Big Interactive, Santa Monica, CA, won the account after beating 18 agencies.


"The Grateful Dead is looking to redesign and re-architect their current fan site in order to properly represent the band's magnitude and influence on music and culture over the years while providing a valuable experience for their fans," said Matt Minkin, CEO of Big Interactive.


The makeover also comes in time for a record release planned with Warner Strategic Marketing. It dovetails with the myriad projects currently undertaken by individual band members, including Phil Lesh's best-selling book.


Big Interactive has several mandates from Grateful Dead Productions, caretaker of all things Dead. Topping the list is to be an efficient online hub for Dead media such as music, bootlegs, show recordings, CDs, videos, stories, visuals, downloads and purchases. The goal is to organize the media in an engaging, intuitive manner.


The site also should offer information on future tours and news and let fans communicate with each other and the band.


A key feature of the revamp is an interactive museum or timeline that lets fans experience 40 years of the Grateful Dead via music, videos, art, community features and photographs of the band with and without the late Jerry Garcia.


The agency will use e-mail newsletters, mobile text messaging and branding to put the word out. Fan buzz is expected to drive traffic to one of the most visited rock band sites online.


"It's a unified place where the fans and the Grateful Dead can come together, share and connect," Minkin said of the site. "We want to provide an experience that supports the memories, present and future of the band through vivid imagery and design."


Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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