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In this guest post, music & brands expert Mike Tunnicliffe explains how the two sectors are finally getting their act together…

Those of you that have stumbled across my regular columns in Advertising Age, Ad Week and other trade publications , which are all captured here on my blog will know that I’ve been almost evangelical about the coming together of brands and music for a couple of years now and each year have made a prediction that this will be the year that this whole area comes of age.

Well, from the comments that we are seeing on this blog and the look of the conference agenda a number of other high profile folks are putting their money on this area too, perhaps illustrated by Panos Panay from SonicBids’ excellent case in his recent blog posting on why independent music and artists are more appealing to brands; or David Jones, Global CEO at leading Advertising agency Group Euro RSCG, talking this coming Sunday about how his agency’s acquisition of record label and publishing company The Hours has helped his clients build increasingly important collaborations with music and artists to help overcome the growing ineffectiveness of traditional advertising.

One thing that comes through loud and clear from these experts and many more besides is that there is a growing need for artists that partner with brands to be able to deliver real tangible benefits and that these partnerships need to be based on a higher level of strategic thinking to ensure a good brand fit, relevance and benefit for the brands & the fans/consumers. If we get this right, these types of partnerships could become a longer term – more consistent play for the brands and a revenue generator for the brands and artists, rather than a glorified form of sponsorship or endorsement.

I’ll be discussing this point of view in the MIDEM+ ‘meet the experts’ session on Tuesday January 26 but in advance of that wanted to give artists / management teams a heads up on what I believe are the key win-win factors for brand and artist partnerships going forwards.

1. Make it relevant – Relevance wins through, whether its brand fit, product fit or a simple compelling idea that’s natural and ‘organic’.

2. Harness interactivity – ‘Engaging’ fans is a real winner and works best when the partnerships allow the consumer (fan) to interact with the brand in a relevant and fun way in conjunction with the artists / entertainment property (i.e participation in person, with friends or through user generated content)and when social media can be used as a key part of the consumer interaction.

3. Use multiple channels to communicate – Success seems to come when the partnerships have multiple communication channels and strands that are tied together in an ‘integrated’ fashion (this might sound obvious but this quite often gets overlooked).

4. Provide value – Finally, and most crucially, these partnerships really work best when there’s some real benefit in it for the consumer/ fans.

I have just posted on my blog a detailed overview complete with case studies that show how these lessons were applied by the Rock Band franchise to produce some great win-win partnerships. Please read as a lot of lessons can be learned.

Look forward to expanding on all of this in person. See you in Cannes…


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About Author

James Martin

James Martin is Head of Social Media for Midem organisers Reed MIDEM. This includes defining and rolling out Midem's social media strategy, editing midemblog, influencer outreach, developing Midem's fanbase of 75,000+ music professionals and more.

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