Rhino Update

day 1: hot intern, hot topic, apple, fye, and the four seasons

rhinologo_whiteonwhiteMany of you have asked how my new internship at Rhino is going. Here is a recap of day 1:

The first thing you need to find at a new internship is the bathroom. On the way there, I almost ran into a hot chick. This was good because at my last internship, there weren’t many hot chicks (mostly dudes in black t-shirts). Even better was that when I was directed to my new cube, said hot chick happens to be the hot intern who sits in the cube next to me. Perfect.

Wednesdays are Soundscan days – meaning that all of the sales data for the previous week is distributed to the industry through their subscription to Nielsen Soundscan.  This is how the Billboard 100 list is created and is similar to how the box office numbers are pulled together for movie openings. So it’s cool that I am there on Wednesdays because they start the day by pulling together a list of the Soundscan data for all Rhino releases. This is then compared to their projected sales figures to see if they are going to be in a good mood or a bad mood for the day.

Since Wednesdays are Soundscan days, they are also marketing meeting days. I am interning in the marketing department, which also serves as the project management department since all of the releases are coordinated by someone in marketing. The department decided that instead of their usual in office meeting, they were going to do a field trip to the Glendale Galleria (which is an older, suburban mall). The reason for this was to visit Hot Topic, The Apple Store, and f.y.e. (For Your Entertainment, a CD/DVD store).

Hot Topic is possibly interested in doing a promotion with some Rhino releases, so we had to check out how Hot Topic is set up and how they are placing products throughout the store. The Apple Store is just cool, so we had to go there. And f.y.e. was on the list so we could “see things in the way the consumer does.” Basically we were checking out how other CDs were being packaged. Then I had a cheesesteak in the food court. Perfect, 2 hours in the mall is considered “work.”

Upon returning to the office, I got some of the standard training. How to access Soundscan, how to submit forms to accounts payable, how to ship packages, etc. Then I learn that the person I am interning for would like me to help her put together a marketing plan for a new Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons box set that they just released. This is going to be one of the big projects I work on over the summer with her, so I begin reading the liner notes of the boxed set in order to familiarize myself. Perfect – this is the type of stuff I do at home anyway.

For those of you not familiar with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, well you probably know their songs. Famous for “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Working My Way Back To You,” “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night),” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” among a total of 13 top ten hits between 1962 and 1967. So it’s not really my flavor of music, but a cool project regardless.

The best thing this release has going for it is the recent success of Jersey Boys, the Broadway play that won a Tony last year and is making its rounds across the country right now. You have probably seen the various advertisements for the show – I can see a street sign for Jersey Boys from my balcony. The play is based on the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and since the soundtrack is selling well, our hope is that the box set has a life as well.

After spending some time educating myself about my new charge, I ask the dude 2 cubes down what he is listening to – since I feel like I recognize the infectious electronic beats emanating from his stereo. He then gives me a hip-hop compilation CD that includes groups like Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force, De La Soul, Digital Underground, etc. Much of which I already have, but I can always add more to my mass of 80’s and 90’s hip-hop and electro funk. Learning that I dig this music, he also gives me a box set of older funk songs titled “What It Is! Funky Soul and Rare Grooves 1967-1977.” Perfect – I don’t get paid, but at least my CD spoils for the day probably total around $100 MSRP.

dsc00629Now it’s time to get my picture taken in HR so I don’t have to wear a stupid visitor nametag anymore. Cool – I don’t look like a poser anymore. I’m like Warren…I work here.

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