What I had never thought of before was comparing the music industry to the advertising industry. So this morning I went on a talk about exactly that by Jennifer Frommer, Global SVP of Branded Content at Interscope Records, Universal Music.
By looking at the lifecycle of a campaign. It all starts when you pitch for new business. Media or advertising agencies obviously are pitching for a new brand or client, where as music labels are aiming for the newest artist. Agencies are pitching where as labels are signing. In much the same way as agencies when we pitch for new business we have to fully understand what the company stands for, where they are aiming to be and what they want to achieve. Music labels have to understand their possible artist who they are and where they want to be going.
With Music artists, labels have to be quick, they have to have done their research and get the artist to sign with them before anyone else. This means they have to go searching for the talent, understanding what is working and why it is working and where the label could take them. What Jennifer was trying to emphasise at this point is agencies need to be proactive to. Not wait for the new business to come to them. Go and find the business and show them what your agency can offer them.
Everything in social media seems to come and go in a flash. Everything is real time and brands need to respond in real time. This is much the same with the marketing of a label with their artist. They have to listen to what is being said about an artist or their music and if something isn’t working they have to act quickly or the song/ artist will be a flop. In just the same way as a campaign for a brand you have to listen to what consumers are saying and edit and modify your campaign in real time to get the best results. The example that Universal have with this is one of their most popular artists right now Kendrick Lamar. His lyrics and performances were great and everyone was saying so. However people were not enjoying the visual aspects to his videos. With this in mind Universal realized they weren’t getting the reach and sales that they could be getting. After listening to Lamar’s wants and understanding the artist then created videos that were perfect for him and he has shot to stardom.
Which linked in very well to the next point Jennifer touched on. Working together in all forms of marketing and advertising to really get the best out of an artist or a campaign. Understanding all aspects of them and reaching the audiences on all platforms.
Sometimes when agencies win a new business the new business is very new. They may be a great company and have the whole package but how do you market them when they haven’t been seen before. It is the same with Artists. When Universal signed Ivy Levan, the ‘Queen of Swamp Pop’. It would be a challenge to market her because she is so different to anything else out there. However she came to Universal as herself with her self shot video of who she is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAxzkViLCH0
“Many Artists in the record industry these days lack an idea. When I met Eminem I had an idea. When I met Lady Gaga, before I heard the music, it was what the idea was.”
-Jimmy Lovine, Founder and Chairman of Interscope
The point of this quote is you need to make sure you have an unmistakable idea for your client/ artist. With out this they just become forgettable again.
They have also marketed Beats headphones. The best selling headphones in the world by quite a distance, but how did they market them so successfully? Simple they placed them in music videos with their artists. They knew how influential their artists were so by placing headphones on each artist in the music video is the easiest piece of marketing they could possibly do. Beats headphones now feature in all their videos to keep the image fresh in consumer’s minds.
Finally the artist that Jenifer compared to a client for a media agency is Robin Thicke – The artist that everyone is talking about right now. However they didn’t get it right first time. In fact they didn’t even get it right second time. Third time round they have finally got it right. He is now number 1 in 50 different countries throughout the world. The lesson here being that you might not get your campaign right the first time, you branding may not be correct. Don’t be afraid to reinvent your brand, change things up and understand that you may fail.
Although this rebranding of Robin Thicke is down to hard work and understanding the client/ artist they also took a risk. Which is something Jennifer expressed as a must do with agencies sometimes. The created an incredibly risqué music video, but in a fun quirky way, with 3 beautiful women. This hasn’t really been done before (in such a classy way) and it instantly became an Internet sensation, the non-explicit version has had 50 million views: You can see why here.
So although I may not have learnt too many new tricks when it comes to our clients the lessons, which Jennifer wanted us all to take away with us, were:
Fail (I’m not sure you should aim to fail, but understand it does happen and learn from it)
Listen to the streets- what people are saying and why
Ideas come from everywhere
Reinvent your brand if necessary
Posted by Tom Gatenby, Social Media Executive and Get me canned winner