Retired fighter pilot Jim Destafney faces an interesting challenge. Getting your music store noticed in increasingly-crowded retail venues and social media can be a daunting, but his staff at Blues Angel Music in Pensacola hope to go to the top of the queue as they’re featured in an episode of Animal Planet’s series TANKED! Nov. 1.
The Blues Angel Music episode features the construction and installation of a custom aquarium that’s also a working drum set. Jim’s wife Nan, a former Navy nurse, contacted the TANKED! producers last year with the idea, and after months of planning and negotiation, the eight-drum kit was installed at the store Sept. 17-18 with the TV production crew rolling the whole time.
“In the beginning, my main interest wasn’t the TANKED! television show, it was getting an aquarium in our store,” said Nan. “But after realizing the investment involved, and convincing Yamaha to also donate a $5000 drum set as the tank models, we realized that we had to be on the show.”
Wayde King and Brett Raymer, stars of TANKED! and bosses at Acrylic Tank Manufacturing in Las Vegas, were at the Blues Angel Music in Pensacola for the installation and were hands-on the entire time. As veterans of 76 episodes of TANKED!, they know that a custom-themed aquarium is not only a very cool focal point, but can seriously add to a business’ bottom line.
“It will bring people into the store, which will hopefully translate into sales, but not only that, it’s a talk piece,” said Raymer. “They can say ‘I have the first drum set aquarium, I’m one of the top 100 music stores in the country, we have a one-of-a-kind drum set by Acrylic Tank Manufacturing that was featured on TANKED!.’”
Although not huge by aquarium standards, the drum set holds 100 gallons of salt water and 20 gallons of fresh water. The combination of the clear acrylic drums and variable-color lighting is easily the first thing that catches your eye as you enter the music store.
“They say dynamite comes in small packages — it doesn’t have to be super-large to have the WOW factor,” added Raymer.
Getting featured on TANKED! doesn’t come inexpensively, but according to both the DeStafneys and Raymer, if you figure in the equivalent ad budget to get this kind of coverage, it’s the deal of the century.
“You can buy a custom one-of-a-kind ATM aquarium that’s featured on TANKED! and get 25 minutes of air time on multiple occasions in 200 countries around the world,” added Raymer. “For a company like Blues Angel Music, it’s a no-brainer.”
“When you consider the world-wide reach of the show and that our customer base is also around the world, it is absolutely worth the cost,” added Nan. “We ship guitars and other musical products to every state in the USA, and to dozens of countries globally. Many of our distant cusomers will visit the Gulf Coast on vacation or business and our unique “DrumAquarium Set” will give them another good reason to visit Blues Angel Music while they’re in the area.”
For musicians, not only are the drums an amazing and realistic display, but almost unbelieveably, the drum set is also fully functional. Jim said that a working kit was mandatory.
“The drum set had to be truly functional, not only as an fish tank and display piece, but as also as a percussion instrument,” said Jim. “Each drum is fitted with electronic drum triggers and pads. If you close your eyes and listen to them being played, you’d never know it was an aquarium.”
After the installation and the TANKED! crew returned to Las Vegas, maintenance of the custom aquarium falls to a local company, in this case Allen Netzer of Reef Scapes in Pensacola.
“Maintenance of the drum set aquarium should take only one-to-two hours per week, as we make sure the tanks and fish are healthy and change the fish around.” said Netzer. “We hope to keep it going indefinitely.”