Who was the marketing matermind behind KISS?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Jim Nazium, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. I can't think of another band that has been so successful at monetizing their brand name (that's not a typo, I meant brand, not band, although in this case it's the same thing). Every conceivable type of merchandise from condoms to coffins has been sold with the KISS logo, and I just learned that they are launching an arena football team that may sign Tim Tebow.

    So who was/is behind all this? Was it Gene Simmons, or was it a manager or someone else?
  2. Gene is an incredibly bright businessman and general all around super smart dude.
  3. worxforme

    worxforme Self Actualized Bad Speller

    Dec 10, 2009
    LAnsing MI
  4. worxforme

    worxforme Self Actualized Bad Speller

    Dec 10, 2009
    LAnsing MI
    If a dude that looks like that can sleep with that many women he has to be a marketing genius!
  5. ... and be married to a former Playmate of the Year :bassist:
  6. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    ... or else have a really long tongue.
  7. Hi.


    From almost every "reliable" source about anything associated with KISS, it should be clear that Gene was way more interested in making money and screwing left and right to anything that moves than he was about making music.
    Music was just the means to do those things.

    He wasn't particularily good business man at the intermediate level, but fortunately for us, KISS had a lot of dedcated people to help them through that stage.

    Gene was/is also one of the very few succesful people who did admit the REAL reason behind his desire to be a musician from the get-go.
    Kudos for that.

  8. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    Bill worked with an artist I was working for as a roadie about 12 years ago. He was an interesting cat. I didn't even know his connection to KISS until after I was done working on the project. Turns out he was the marketing mastermind.

  9. mikegug


    Oct 31, 2011
    That is one band who made the most out of mediocre to good songs.

    I was a huge fan back in the day as a kid. I look now, and I see it's cotton candy plus some music in there.
  10. mikegug


    Oct 31, 2011
    Wow, that's an impressive Wiki page.
  11. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I think that is what you meant.

    Gene will copyright anything in the name of money, in fact he owns the image of a cash sign on a bag.

    I like Gene as a bass player but as a person that guy a dick and will only acknowledge his fans if he is on the dime. He definitely epitomizes the old saying "Never meet your idols" Shannon in from my city, we don't get too many celebrities so plenty of folks have a Gene and Shannon story. I do not have anything bad to say about Shannon.
  12. bloobass


    Jul 10, 2012
    Louisville, KY
    It kills me that anybody talks about Gene Simmons, they pound on him being greedy. Just because the guy likes money, and wants to get paid for HIS ideas, doesn't make him greedy. He works at making money, but he also doesn't seem to mind spreading it around. From everything that I've seen and read he is very charitable, and supports several members of his extended family overseas.
    If I could make money by putting my name on a condom, bet your a$$ I would!
  13. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I highly recommend the book, 'Kiss and Sell". It has lots of interesting info about the Kiss marketing machine.
  14. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    Probably Gene, he is a smart business man. Other people that are also smart running their business are Steve Harris, Lars and James and Sharon Osbourne.
  15. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I am not a Kiss fan and I don't admire Gene's personal life ... but he knows how to make money and I enjoy his political tirades on youtube.
  16. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I think a few people are using the word "genius" way too loosely here. I'm not saying Gene wasn't notably intelligent, but I think members of Mensa might feel a bit insulted.
  17. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Michael Jackson did the same. Congrats to both of them. If you are smart enough to think of it, go for it. Gene has never claimed to be an amazing musician or singer. He is an entertainer and rock music just happened to be the easiest vehicle to ride all the way to the bank. Had juggling been the most lucrative he probably would have put on a crazy costume and juggled just well enough to be called a juggler. Good for him! He is smart and driven. Two qualities that USED to be HERALDED in the US in particular. Successful business men used to be HEROES. Now they are "the enemy". I don't buy it. I admire and strive to be more like successful businessmen. And I congratulate those who have reached a high level of success.

    Not everyone who got rich "screwed" anyone else. You need to let go of that myth. Some are just smart, hard-working guys who make the most of what they have to work with.

    My wife and I stayed in Myrtle Beach SC over the weekend. There is actually a KISS coffee shop on the boardwalk! I am no KISS music fan, but I thought "Awesome! Way to make a dollar!" I went in and got a great cup of coffee and subjected myself to some not so amazing rock n roll.

    And for anyone who is keeping score, I would be interested to know where KISS scores in merch sales against The Greatful Dead or Jimmy Buffett. All three acts are masterful marketers. And why do we never hear about Garcia being "greedy"? That band played HIPPIE music and sells $100 NECK TIES for Christ's sake! (And congrats to them too.) I love the free market and am glad I live in a country where it thrives.
  18. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA

    Life is a game. Gene is one of the winners, and that earns my respect.
  19. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic

    Alas, a lot of people are too busy being jealous of others' success to go out, bust their butt and earn their own...
  20. If more of us were like Gene Simmons then bands wouldn't be asked to play for free all the time.