Budweiser are running an ad at the moment featuring an unknown Canadian band The OBGMs playing a club gig. The twist of the ad is that when they go on stage they're amazed to find themselves playing to an enthusiastic full house rather than the usual mix of blood relations and unimpressed locals. The audience have been provided and bussed in by Budweiser.
This is an interesting inversion of the traditional "dreams come true" advert, which recognises the fact that the supply of middling bands is now far greater than the demand for them could ever match and it's therefore the band rather than the audience who need to have their wishes fulfilled.
I was talking to somebody recently who was launching a gigging-focussed social media site. I told him there was more chance of getting the bands to pay for access to the audience than vice versa.
I wrote a column a few years ago speculating that we would soon reach the point where audiences were paid to turn up at non-star gigs. This ad is another step closer.