Case Study: Sidewatcher (Musical Artist)

Sidewatcher is a garage surf/barbie punk/prom rock band from Detroit, MI. Their music self-described as, “…a sweetheart with a switchblade. It’s the teenage girl who was ditched at prom and now has blood in her eyes. Mixed with waves of garage surf, Sidewatcher’s songs have a barbie punk/prom rock vibe that take you on a trip through sick love and manipulative alien boyfriends”.

Sidewatcher releases their music through two record labels, Play-Yah Records (Los Angeles, CA) and Broken Jaw Studios (Detroit, MI), and have presence in both geographical music scenes. The band has done an excellent job in building and retaining their fan base primarily through social media. Sidewatcher is constantly creating and producing various multimedia content to strengthen their brand and presence on the internet. 

Through research, I have found Sidewatcher to have profiles on almost every prominent social media website and/or application. Sidewatcher’s main social media profiles appear to be on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (in that order). Sidewatcher uses these platforms to both promote themselves and also interact with fans. I have provided screenshots below of examples from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter of both types of presence. It appears that the best way for people to interact with the brand is through likes, shares, and comments.

Facebook

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Instagram

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Twitter

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Sidewatcher also uses Facebook’s advertising option to promote their new releases and important news. Often times you can see the “Sponsored” message next to their posts, which means they use boosting functions to gain more likes than just the purely organic ones. On Facebook it is particularly helpful to advertise in order to reach a broader audience.

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As viewed in the screenshot above, Sidewatcher also has a Google Knowledge Graph. This proves that the brand part is part of the media environment. The Knowledge Graph is not self-made, rather “… the Knowledge Graph is a knowledge base used by Google to enhance its search engine ‘s search results with semantic-search information gathered from a wide variety of sources”. Simply put, Google draws information on the internet from websites and social media to piece together the Knowledge Graph. The more presence a brand has, the more detailed the Knowledge Graph will be.

Sidewatcher also has their own personal website, which allows quick access to their discography, tour dates, merch, videos, photos, and contact information. The website is accessible and easy to remember for their fans with the URL as www.sidewatcher.com.

By viewing posts about Sidewatcher written by other people, it can be seen that Sidewatcher is successfully using various media technologies to reach a wide range of audiences. The blog posts below discuss the Sidewatcher brand, the media content they create, and their newest album, Drive.

Stage TV: Desde Detroit ellos son: Sidewatcher
Rock-garage surf-punk es el sonido que define a esta banda de Detroit, Michigan llamada Sidewatcher, su bio dice que se formaron en 2014 pero fue hasta el año siguiente que empezaron a lanzar en forma trabajos de estudio como EP’s, compilados y singles que pueden escuchar desde su Bandcamp, pero es hasta este 2016 que vía Play Yah Records han editado su primer largo titulado “Drive”, disco en el cual viene incluida “Alien Love Affair” para la cual están estrenando video y que pueden disfrutar abajo junto al disco.

Real Rock And Roll: New Music: Drive – Sidewatcher
The talented trio Sidewatcher have just released a new album via Play-Yah Records. You can download it on Bandcamp and get bonus digital content: Original Studio/Liner Notes & 3 Page Zine: https://sidewatcher.bandcamp.com/album/drive
It’s a high-energy punk/rock album, with rock and roll riffs and catchy melodies. It’s full of punk attitude and has an overall sunny and uplifting sound. “Drive” is a mix of cover songs (“Surf Hell”, “Raw-Hide”, “Wipe Out”) and inspired original tracks. Another great offering from this band. While you’re on Bandcamp, check out their other releases. They have a limited edition cassette of their awesome Time EP available there. With only 100 copies produced, hurry if you want one!

Pure Nowhere Magazine: “Drive” – Debut Album From Sidewatcher
We bring to you yet again another talented group from Play Yah Records. Self described as garage surf, barbie punk, and prom rock, Sidewatcher is a three-piece band from Detroit, Michigan. We’ve talked before on the site about the need for female fronted bands and with Zoë Kissel singing and playing guitar, Sidewatcher is a perfect example. Luckily for us, September seventh Sidewatcher is releasing their debut album titled “Drive”. Every track on the album packs a punch of a punk rock guitar and powerful and raw attitude filled vocals. Even the tracks with no words at all like “Raw Hide” pack that punch. Now I don’t wanna spoil too much because you need to listen to their album yourself, but what I will say is that every song takes you on a different journey and leaves you with a different feeling. The music video for Drive is a collection of scenes from the band members Zoë, Dylan Kissel (bass), and AJ Picciuto (drums) at a carnival playing and singing along to the intriguing lyrics.

Not only does Sidewatcher post on social media to bring their brand into the media environment, they also generate music, videos, and photos. Media is social, but it also includes sound, video, etc.

Just as Sidewatcher creates video, their fans use phones and other technology at shows to spread their experience with the band. This broadens Sidewatcher’s reach on social media and allows the band to join more circles.

Sidewatcher is an attainable and available brand. They have used various social media and media technologies to make the brand part of the media environment and the internet. Anyone on the internet can find Sidewatcher with a simple click of the mouse. Even if a person is not on a certain form of social media, they have plenty of options of ways to interact with Sidewatcher, whether it be another form of social media, their website, or YouTube. Sidewatcher’s brand has become a part of the media environment and will continue to be relevant as the band and their fan base grow.

Zoe Kissel
MI 201-730

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