Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons -- a guy who literally breathes fire and spits blood when promoting his band (and himself) -- is now turning to the band's fans for input on how to celebrate Kiss' 40th anniversary celebration.
The frontman/bassist announced on Wednesday that Kiss will begin a campaign on Tongal -- a social media platform that facilitates video content by crowdsourcing creative work through collaborative contests -- asking Kiss fans and content creators to submit ideas for "how Kiss should celebrate their 40th anniversary in in the most epic way possible," according to the Hollywood Reporter in an exclusive report.
Tongal's brand campaigns often utilize ideation and pitch processes before they enter the execution stage of when a commercial or campaign gets produced.
Past projects included a Speed Stick commercial that freshened up the 2013 Super Bowl and a "Star Wars"-inspired ad for Pringles. The Kiss project, however, is part of a new service known as Left Field, which lets brands summon fans and creators for help with ideas.
"We've always been about the fans," Simmons told the Hollywood Reporter. "Tongal allows our fans to throw out ideas, and you know you're going to make something authentic." He adds that the crowdsourcing process at Tongal is not that different from the collaboration within a band. "One person doesn't play every instrument. You contribute where you're skilled."
Simmons announced the campaign during his appearance at Tongal's inaugural award show, the Tongies, on April 2 at the El Rey Theatre. The outspoken, generously tongued musician presented the award for best Best Original Song used in a campaign. Some of the other honors included Best Broadcast Spot, Best Comedy, Best Idea and Video of the Year.
Those who participate in Tongal's projects get paid if they submit winning ideas. This year, Tongal expects to pay more than $15 million to its community. James DeJulio, Tongal's co-founder and president, said the Kiss campaign is an opportunity for brands to use the platform in order to engage fans. "Like any great brand, Kiss' fans have supported them and been a part of their lives forever," DeJulio continued. "This campaign creates another deep connection with the band."
Meanwhile, Kiss has launched a "Kiss Photo Bomb" app that lets fans add Kiss makeup to their selfies, put members of Kiss in their photos and bring Kiss emoticons to texts, according to Engadget. "We are excited to expand the Kiss experience to our mobile fans. Kiss Photo Bomb will rock the charts with fans around the world!" reads an endorsement from Simmons and co-founder/frontman Paul Stanley, which is available on iOS and Android devices.
Next week, Kiss will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Although the flamboyant hard-rockers will not perform at the induction, after disputes with the two other founding members, drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley, the group's current lineup will show up to the event as a group. And that lineup is planning to sit at a table with ex-Kiss ax slinger Bruce Kulick, who played in the group from 1984-1996. "The fact that they want me at their table means the world," Kulick told Rolling Stone.
In other Kiss news, the band has announced a joint tour with Def Leppard, which will kicks off in West Valley City, Utah, on June 23 and will stop in 41 other locations across North America, Reuters reported. Simmons says a dollar from each ticket sold on the tour will go to the Wounded Warrior Project and other military non-profits, according to USA Today. Those charitable partners include the USO, Hire a Hero, Project Resiliency/The Raven Drum Foundation and The Augusta Warrior Project.
"Politicians fart through their mouth," Simmons said. "Only the military makes freedom possible." Paul Stanley noted that the group also plans to hire vets for its crew. "We try to find a couple of vets who want to go out and be part of the team," Stanley said. "This is a chance for somebody to travel and be part of the Kiss Army."
Kiss will also celebrate its 40th anniversary with an all-out reissue bonanza. Kiss released its first albums, "Kiss" and "Hotter Than Hell" in 1974, and the band will commemorate the anniversary with many archival releases, including a 34-LP vinyl box set and the two-CD compilation "Kiss 40."
The Kiss and Def Leppard tour dates are as follows, courtesy of Ultimate Classic Rock.
23 - USANA Amphitheater, West Valley City, Utah
25 - Pepsi Center, Denver, Colo. 27 - Sleep Country Amphitheater, Ridgefield, Wash.
29 - White River Amphitheatre, Auburn, Wash.
2 - Concord Pavilion, Concord, Calif.
3 - Sleep Train Amphitheatre, Wheatland, Calif.
5 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Irvine, Calif.
6 - Sleep Train Amphitheatre, Chula Vista, Calif.
8 - The Forum, Los Angeles, Calif.
9 - Ak-Chin Pavilion, Phoenix, Ariz.
12 - Austin360 Amphitheater, Austin, Texas (on sale March 22)
13 - Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas, Texas
15 - Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
16 - Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn.
18 - Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood, Atlanta, Ga. (on sale March 22)
19 - PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte, N.C.
20 - Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, Raleigh, N.C.
22 - Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach, Fla.
23 - MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, Fla.
25 - Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, Va.
26 - PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, N.J. (on sale March 22)
1 - Xfinity Center, Mansfield, Mass.
2 - Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, N.J.
3 - Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, N.J.
5 - Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (on sale March 22)
6 - Nikon At Jones Beach Theatre, Wantagh, N.Y. (on sale March 22)
8 - Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach, Virginia Beach, Va. (on sale March 22)
9 - Pavilion at Montage Mountain, Scranton, Penn.
10 - Xfinity Theatre, Hartford, Conn.
12 - Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto, On.
13 - Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Darien, N.Y. (on sale March 22)
15 - Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, Wisc.
16 - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Tinley Park, Ill.
17 - Target Center, Minneapolis, Minn.
20 - Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa
22 - Klipsch Music Center, Noblesville, Ind.
23 - DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston, Mich. (on sale March 22)
24 - First Niagara Pavilion, Burgettstown, Penn. (on sale March 22)
26 - Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
28 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Maryland Heights, Mo. (on sale March 22)
29 - BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla.
31 - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Woodlands, Texas