The Ask:

Increase brand awareness in the U.S. for Chef’Special – an alternative pop band from the Netherlands.

About the Client:

Chef’Special hail from Haarlem in the Netherlands. This Dutch indie pop band formed in 2008. The quintet features lead vocalist Joshua Nolet, guitarist Guido Joseph, bass player Jan Derks, keyboard player Wouter Heeren and drummer Wouter Jerry Prudon. The band is signed to indie label Fueled by Ramen which is owned by the iconic 60-year-old American label, Atlantic Records.

The Chef’Special sound includes elements of ska, rap, funk, reggae, and hip-hop and they have released two albums and three EP’s.

They became well known in the Netherlands because they were the house band for the popular Dutch television program, “De Wereld Draait Door.” They were first introduced to the U.S. market when they toured with the indie band “Aer” as their support act. In 2016 they toured the States with “Twenty One Pilots” as the opening act (alongside “MUTEMATH”).

DASH TWO Analysis:

Chef’Special was looking to find new tactics to penetrate the US market and effectively target their US demographics of 18-34-year-old millennials. They were trying to figure out better solutions to increase their brand awareness in the burgeoning streaming music ecosystem. Their label, Fueled By Ramen, wanted to increase downloads and streaming of Chef’Special music from a more targeted audience who enjoyed similar artists.

DASH TWO was approached because of our expertise with using Facebook Advertising solutions.

Main Objective:

Increase music sales and boost streams.


Our solution was to run a multi-city targeted video campaign featuring performances by Chef’Special.

The DASH TWO Strategy to inspire US audiences to download or stream the band’s music included:

  • Targeting this campaign to 12 key markets in the US where they were most likely to reach rock fans (alternative rock station markets)
  • Video ads designed to reach people in areas where the band was going to perform
  • Video ads to target regions where there were offline influencers such as radio personalities.
  • Layering on interests targetingto reach a broad 18-to 34-year-old millennial audience with an affinity for artists similar to Chef’Special.

DASH TWO Advantage:

Fueled By Ramen reformatted a longer piece of Chef’Special content with the intention of reaching a broader, more targeted audience.

DASH TWO created geo-customized creative that put video ads in front of people living in the cities where the band was due to play live.

  • The Video ads were short, attention-grabbing teasers of Chef’Special hits
  • Each video ad was customized for different locations, e.g., if someone living in Chicago watched one of the video ads of the band playing in their area, they would be retargeted with more ads with additional ad creative that played out in Chicago.

The Results:

By using Facebook video ads, Chef’Special found new listeners in the US. Over a 3-month period, they increased their music sales by 2X and boosted streams by 4X. They also received the bonus of finding out more about their target market in the US and collecting relevant data for further campaigns.

“Facebook was a great tool to build a fan base, as it allowed us to bring music directly to the people. We ran video ads within potential fans’ NewsFeeds and created various audience lists to control who saw what, and even followed up with new videos to those who had seen our previous content” –Pedram Nikfarjam, Director of Digital Marketing, DASH TWO

We were thrilled to find workable solutions for Chef’Special to increase their brand awareness in the US and achieve such excellent results in only three months.

We’d love to provide a custom solution for your brand. Contact us today so we can walk you through our wide range of digital advertising options.

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