Trendwatching Pays Off for One Net Marketing

How do you use technology to appeal to a demographic that traditionally eschews the “plugged –in” life? You go old-school. Hipster Bait ( is an interactive geo-caching music discovery game designed to “bring back rock & roll, one hipster at a time.”

The game combines cross-channel media including an interactive website, physical cassette tapes, geo-caching, video, and gamification.

Nicole Sorochan and Michael Tension of Victoria’s One Net Marketing designed Hipster Bait to help indie bands distribute their music outside the traditional boundaries of digital distribution and record labels.  To attract their target demographic — hipsters are considered very influential in making indie bands popular — creators Nicole Sorochan and Michael Tension decided that torrents and digital downloads were not the path forward.

The pair designed 990 “bait cassette tapes” which contained a secret unsigned indie band. Each cassette has a unique cover design, unique story, and unique corresponding webpage that explains the meaning behind each cassette’s design.

Once a cassette tape is found, the user can go to that unique webpage for the cassette. They can then create a player account, watch the music video, and re-hide the tape in their city.

All of the found tapes are displayed on an interactive map with geo-coordinates, combining geo-caching with physical music discovery.

“The idea came from a dissatisfaction with rock and roll today. It’s not exciting enough. Most of the discovery is done online. You don’t discover a band at a punk show anymore, you find it through iTunes or SoundCloud,” says co-creator Tension.

Sorochan came up with the idea of “baiting hipsters” offline rather than online.

The idea was to combine new media with analog media, she says. “We figured that we needed something so uncool and dated—like an old cassette tape—to attract our audience. Something so old, it was new.”

Recently, Hipster Bait was one of the twelve cross-media projects from Canada, France, Sweden and the United Kingdom presented to a jury of 6 international and Canadian industry leaders at the 2013 Merging Media Conference’s Pitch 360 Competition.

The two-day event (November 6-7) features the cutting edge of global cross-media innovation and attracted speakers and contestants from across Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Sorochan and Tension were awarded the $10,000 CMPA Pitch 360 Award for Best Cross-Media Project

“It was a difficult decision, but the judges selected Hipster Bait as Best Cross-Media Project for its creative approach to a music industry challenge, and integration of online platforms and offline engagement. We hope the $10,000 CMPA Pitch 360 Award will help support Hipster Bait through this exciting development phase,” says Christine Lim-Labossiere, CEO/Founder of Merging Media Productions Inc. and Founder/Executive Director of the Merging Media Conference.

You can view the project at