Redmond's PlayNetwork teams up with maurices and Sonicbids for nationwide band search

Women's fashion shop maurices is teaming up with Redmond-based PlayNetwork and music distributor Sonicbids for its second annual nationwide "Hometown Sound" band search.

Last year's search led to the discovery of the Audri and Aaron, a songwriting duo from Alton, Ill. and their winning single, "Home."

"The goal of this program is not only to discover the next hot up-and-coming band in the country, but to continue building strong connections with maurices communities," said maurices assistant vice president of marketing Lisa Bartlett. "We pride ourselves on being the best hometown specialty retailer, so we look for every opportunity to reach our customers across America and celebrate their unique musical gifts."

Building on the success of last year's girls-only campaign -- led by The Bangles and Chrissie Hynde, as well as emerging all-female indie band, Sick of Sarah -- this year's Hometown Sound will be adding guys into the mix. Emerging global electro soul popsters Graffiti6 will launch the search as the kickoff partner artist. As the campaign rolls along, new partner artists will be introduced.

Music strategy and retail media agency PlayNetwork is once again partnering with maurices to launch this nationwide band search. The campaign will include a series of artist features, exclusive content, studio recordings, live performances and video productions featuring the partner bands.

Calling on customers to enter or vote, maurices stores will become immersive Hometown Sound experiences featuring PlayNetwork-produced music and content. The contest microsite (, once again created and managed by Sonicbids, will also provide a number of opportunities to engage with the brand and bands.

"The launch of Hometown Sound proves once again that maurices understands the power of making an emotional connection with their fans through music and storytelling. Maurices and PlayNetwork have become true strategic partners and we are working closely to create a new and authentic musical narrative for maurices that elevates the emotional conversation with their customers outside the walls of the retail space," said John Crooke, creative vice president at PlayNetwork.

Any unsigned band is eligible to enter maurices Hometown Sound on the microsite. Submissions will be accepted through Dec. 28.

From Jan. 9-23, 2012, fans can vote for their favorite bands, narrowing the field to the top 50 musical ensembles. From these 50 bands, a group of panelists, including select partner artists, will narrow it down to four finalists.

From Feb. 6 through March 4, 2012, the final voting will take place and each finalist will have their music featured in maurices stores and on the contest microsite during a seven-day period.

During each artist's seven-day feature period, the public will be able to cast their vote by scanning a QR (Quick Response) code in stores or on the contest microsite. The band receiving the most votes will win maurices Hometown Sound.

"We're excited to be working with maurices to extend their hometown outreach campaign. With more than 800 stores nationwide, maurices is a great outlet for the promotion of independent music," said Sonicbids founder and Chief Executive Officer Panos Panay. "Sonicbids' mission is to get music in front of consumers through unique distribution channels and this campaign reinforces that."

The grand prize winner will perform live at their local maurices and receive a trip to Los Angeles to shoot a music video with PlayNetwork. The winner will also receive gifts from maurices, as well as the opportunity to perform at a maurices branded daytime showcase at SXSW in Austin, Texas, in March 2012 with Graffiti6 and other select partner artists.

All fans who vote will receive maurices coupons and will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a maurices gift card.

The maurices store nearest to Redmond is located at 421 S. Fork Ave. S.W. in North Bend.

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