Case Studies

Battle of the Brands: The score with Brands and Artists

Photograph of the blog post author, Mary Woodcock

Mary Woodcock


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Nowadays brands and music are becoming a popular mutual marketing get up – but what is the science behind the selective  choice brands make when it comes to the tuneage?

Commercial Music just won’t cut it for big brands…

Music that sells in its masses is really not the ticket when it comes to brands selecting music to match with their marketing. Whilst using  popular tracks can tap into the familiarities of a universal audience, there is the danger that the music and the artists can overshadow the brand and confuse brand identity.

Put it this way, you’re never going to see Adidas dropping ‘ Galway Girl’ on any promo material- maybe ‘ Shape of you’ at a push but on the whole, despite having his entire album at the top of the global charts,  mass culture for mass appeal is not the route trendsetters like Adidas will follow; sorry Ed.

See brands use music that represents them as an entity. It’s all about coherency.  All you need to do is look at the artists and the brands they’re associated and it’s not hard to spot the synergy; Burberry and Will Joseph Cook.  Adidas and Stormzy.  Drake and Louis Vitton.

Each brand has a flavour and you can almost taste it.

Why are brands doing this?

There’s nothing that creates a personalised relationship between brands and their consumers more than the use of music.  We all know, as fans and musicians alike, music speaks to us on a personal level and is highly indicative of our tastes. It’s makes perfect sense for brands to marry their marketing with artists that align perfectly with their aesthetic and feel and therefore that of their target audience.

Brands are looking are looking for ‘moments’ with their audiences, which would be the perfect track on an advert that ticks all the boxes and cements a relationship with their audience. Some brands are  trying to challenge their consumers if that is what they feel their target audience craves.  More alternative brands might want to seek out raw unsigned acts because their target market relish discovering new music.

For unsigned or relatively small artists, this is great exposure- it’s not selling out, it’s selling up and jumping on board the latest hypes which is never an discreditable business venture.

The Digital Natives sway the brands and their choices

No prizes for guessing who the predominant demographic that all brands are endeavouring to appeal too; yep, you guessed it, the millennials.

In 2012 Billboard commented that the proverbial ‘ sweet spot’ for synergetic affiliation were ‘18-34’ year olds, but based on my own experience as a younger millennial, I’d confidently put money on the fact that age range has narrowed from mid teens- to very early twenties.

Millennials value discovering new music and if brands they respect are feeding that to them, then- with the age of digital culture and social media- it’s only going to lead to trends developing and the brand gaining popularity and exposure.

Brand Philanthropy

Not the case with a lot of brands, but  to get the infamous 501’s a bit more exposure, last year ‘ Levi’s Music Project’, worked with the likes of Skepta to create  an educational outfit in his North London haunt, Tottenham that aimed to give youths in the area the opportunity to learn about the music industry.

The project culminated with those involved on the project performing at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, last November.

Skepta wouldn’t be the obvious choice for a brand such as Levi’s to collaborate with but perhaps this is evident of a more universal choice of brand/artist collaboration. A grime MC that is known not just amongst the younger generation, helping to keeping the youth of his hometown away from crime by providing them with opportunities is an angle that would definitely appeal to the masses.

Let us know your views on brands and marketing by commenting and sharing this blog- we’re always keen to hear from you guys.

Don’t miss out on the chance to get your music synced with top brands- get your tracks in our Sync Portal now!

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