Monterey Jazz Festival: Bigger and Better Than Ever

For 60 years, Monterey, California has been home to one of the world’s best-loved jazz festivals, featuring legendary performances by Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and countless other stars.

But that stellar tradition is no guarantee of future success, especially as younger audiences migrate to rock, hip hop, and electronic dance music.

So the Monterey Jazz Festival asked Boots Road Group to consult on a 60th Anniversary marketing strategy, one that would update their message, and the way it’s delivered, while protecting both the event’s artistic integrity and its deep connection with its existing fans.

We worked with Festival staff to identify key audience segments they wanted to reach, and then to define what it was about the festival people in those segments would value most.

For the most dedicated connoisseurs, this went beyond great jazz. The festival envelops attendees in an experience that also includes celebration, food, friends, family, discovery, and the natural beauty of the setting on the California coast.

This inspired us to create a message that would be both universal and specific:

Experience Monterey Jazz.

One audience might be people who have come for years, and are now bringing children and grandchildren, for whom the festival is a family tradition and a cultural touchstone.

Another might be young people who are excited by new discoveries and hungry for authenticity.

Another might be tourists sampling an event that helps define the essence of Monterey.


And some would be aficionados,coming to immerse themselves in the music.

All would Experience Monterey Jazz.

To reach them, we guided the Festival towards a much more digital, and responsive, media mix. Working with digital media buying firm Mogo Interactive and the festival’s own communications pros, we reached the desired audiences through highly targeted ads in social media, on websites, on music streaming platforms, and elsewhere.

From the first day in March when tickets became available, sales were up significantly — and they stayed up all the way to three packed September days of performances by Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Dee Dee Bridgewater and hundreds of other great artists.

I really can’t thank you enough for all of your help this past year on our marketing strategy and in numerous other ways. The festival was a success in every way that we can measure it.
Colleen Bailey, General Manager, Monterey Jazz Festival
Monterey Jazz Festival 2017 poster, designed by Jeff Rogers
Poster design by Jeff Rogers


MJF Artists 2017


Video footage, poster, and photos courtesy of Monterey Jazz Festival.