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| By Camille Whitehead Expert View

Musical marketing moments

Music in advertising has undergone a revolution in the past decade. Brands now search for an emotive song that tells a story, conjures memories, and forges and genuine connection with people. ‘Music is the feeling. It’s the emotion in the spot’ says director of music at Grey Group, Joshua Rabinowitz.

Prior to the early 2000s, pop and independent artists and their fans considered it ‘selling out’ to align yourself, or your music with brands or sponsors. This was until Moby, an American electronic music artist, revolutionised this thinking by licensing every track on his previously stiffed album ‘Play’ to movies, television and commercial spots. Through this Moby eventually managed to sell 10 million copies of the album. Apple contributed further to this revolution by blurring the lines between music videos and advertisements with it’s launch of the iPod, as well as making music more accessible for listeners and more sellable for breakthrough artists.

“Music is one of those weird subliminal things, it has this magical power that goes beyond what your just hearing, and sometimes that perfect combination of it creates something that’s not on the page, its not visual, its one of those things that is experienced completely mentally.” - Jared Gutstadt, CEO & CCO Jingle Punks

Thanks to Moby’s radical actions over a decade ago, today’s artists are looking for ways to monetize their work, and brand collaborations are starting to look quite appealing. However, it is imperative that the music, and preferably the artist present an ideal match with the product and brand as evidenced by Samsung when it controversially chose to feature Kiwi songstress Lorde’s track ‘Royals’. The tech giant’s advertisement ‘The Developer’, which starred Lionel Messi, implied that happiness could be found in its Samsung Note and Gear, exactly the sentiments which the song disenfranchises.

Lionel Messi staring in The Developer, an advertisement for Samsung featuring 'Royals' by Lorde.

More successful collaborations between marketers and musicians includes FKA Twigs #throughglass concept film featuring a rescored version of her hits ‘Video Girl’ and ‘Glass & Patron’ and the Beats by Dre spot ‘Re-Established 2014’ featuring Lebron James’ re-establishment of his legacy in is hometown of Akron, Northern Ohio to the tune of ‘Take Me to Church’ by Hozier. Both of these advertisements hold true to the sentiments of Rabinowitz “Music helps direct you, it helps you feel a certain way, it’s an excellent branding tool. It’s the thing that helps establish a permanent residence in your brain".

LeBron James features in a Beats commercial to the tune of 'Take Me To Church' by Hozier.

With more people creating music thanks to the digital revolution, there is greater choice for marketers willing to offer exposure to indie artists. The integration of bringing music into advertising and artists into brands is now so blurred, that often you will enjoy a piece of content without feeling like you’ve been unfairly marketed to.

'The intersection between music and advertising is more exciting then it’s ever been' Jared Gutstadt

With more people creating music thanks to the digital revolution, there is greater choice for marketers willing to offer exposure to indie artists. The integration of bringing music into advertising and artists into brands is now so blurred, that often you will enjoy a piece of content without feeling like you’ve been unfairly marketed to.

FKA Twigs dances to her own song whilst wearing Google Glass

Cover Image: FKA Twigs

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Author

Cam Whitehead

Camille Whitehead | Strategist

Camille was selected for her current position after participating in The Communications Council graduate program whilst completing her honours of marketing at UWA. In her six months at The Brand Agency Camille has worked across a number of industries, including land development, agriculture, the arts, education and utilities. Her involvement in the branding of Co3, WA's premier contemporary dance competition has been a highlight of Camille's career. In 2014 Camille was named one of the top five national business graduates by GradConnect.

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