With less than one month left to enter the 2013 midem marketing competition, it seems like a good time to consider what Contagious will be looking for in selecting the 10 finalists in the category of Most innovative use of music/partnership with an artist in a marketing campaign.

When we were first approached by midem to partner on the 2012 marketing competition, we saw a clear opportunity to celebrate the wealth of creative campaigns and content that was already crossing the Contagious editorial radar. Both brands and artists had begun taking more experimental approaches to engaging audiences, eschewing traditional media platforms and leveraging emerging technologies to deliver more meaningful experiences for music fans.

The winner of the 2012 competition was German social media agency Torben, Lucie und die gelbe Gefahr GmbH, with its campaign Mein Tweet als Lied. Mit Vodafone, which saw rock band BAKKUSHAN turn Facebook status updates and Twitter poetry into short, catchy songs. Not only did this help the band redefine its songwriting process, but it also showed that Vodafone is a brand willing to use social and real-time media to actively engage individuals, instead of just broadcasting to the mass.

The campaign also exuded a few qualities we’ll be looking for in this year’s successful entries, including:

– Originality / This sounds obvious, but every time a platform such as Spotify opens its doors to advertisers, a bandwagon mentality takes hold and a deluge of indistinguishable branded apps springs forth. That’s not to say we’ll be discounting any activations on popular platforms, but rather that to stand out, they must provide a service which genuinely enables users to do something they could never do before.

– Experience over innovation / While we will be looking for campaigns which show a smart use of emerging technologies, we don’t want this to get in the way of the basic user experience. How much are we expected to download, opt-in to or configure before reaching the reward? Great applications of tech should streamline processes rather than add friction, and enable rather than hinder users.

– Real value / If someone is expected to invest their time/money/data with a campaign, what are they getting in return, and is there enough genuine value? Often branded content – although ‘valuable’ in the eyes of marketers – lacks enough substance and credibility to pique the interest of real music fans. The content must be good enough to stand on its own two feet – regardless of a brand’s involvement.


The deadline for entries is November 11. To find out more, including which industry experts are on the jury, and to submit your project, click here. Best of luck!

About Author

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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