There is no doubt that music is a powerful medium. It has the ability to alter our mood and the newer generations equate particular songs to be “soundtracks of their lives.” Music has the unique ability to heighten our visual experience which is why it is often the key ingredient to great adverting or a successful movie. Think about the last ad you saw that has a strong music connection or the last movie where the music score made the movie that much more powerful. The marketing world has figured the power of music long ago, but lately we see brands getting involved with individual artists on a much bigger scale. From artists using their popular songs to gain instant recognition to an ad spot, to acting as brand ambassadors, the music and marketing industries are doing a lot more cross-over work. Take a look at the quote from one of my earlier posts on the change taking place in the music industry that is seeking out more of these sponsorship and brand cross-over opportunities.
We take a look at new talent and artist through a brand lens. This could mean taking a look at a band’s location, their following, social-network audience and presence, mass marketability, niche quality, point of difference, etc., and of course the music. This gives us a clearer path to success based off brand guidelines and brand-development disciplines, which really only comes from our world and doesn’t exist in the music industry. Ryan Fey, Chief Marketing Officer, Omelet Agency.
We have embarked on a journey of matching bands to brands, the new tagline of a few marketing agencies. When the marriage between a brand and a band/artist makes sense, it does create compelling content and the overall marketing message does become stronger. Both parties can be proud of the cross-over in such instances. This isn’t always the case as most brands flock to A-Level music artists and celebrities and assume their endorsement will do wonders for the brand. Approaching music partnerships in this way is lazy marketing. Choosing to get involved with talent or celebrities should be a carefully calculated decision as it can cause a lot of backlash for both the brand and the artist. When done correctly, the payoffs can be big for both parties, but it takes careful matchmaking to get the right fit. Once the right fit is determined, the key is to show it off and show the audience what is so compelling about the two entities coming together. Often times we see brands sponsoring music festivals or working with a particular artist but not showing a strong connection or doing something unique with the partnership.
One of the problems is that we tend to think bigger is better- mass media over smaller more focused efforts such as non traditional, and bigger artist with huge fan bases over the up and coming or regional standouts. The problem with that line of thinking is that in many instances it is less personal. Engaging in music marketing is all about developing a personalized connection with the desired audience and connecting through a way traditional methods don’t allow. As more brands get on the music band wagon it will be interesting to see which brands will do the unexpected and show us something different when engaging with the music world.