We believe that bringing brands, content, celebrities and influencers together makes storytelling more meaningful and impactful.
As Aretha Franklin once said, "Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It's transporting, for sure. It can take you right back, years back, to the very moment certain things happened in your life. It's uplifting, it's encouraging, it's strengthening." And if Aretha said it, it must be true.
In today's world, consumers can watch music videos from their phones, computers, and basically anywhere in the world at any time. And companies have a phenomenal opportunity to advertise their brands to a global audience - for incredibly affordable rates compared to traditional advertising. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares how brands can leverage music video partnerships to reach a massive global audience.
I'm writing this from Music City, the heart of country and #1 town for bachelorette parties - Nashville. I'm here for work - not to ride the moving bars on bikes or wear feather boas, and it's, as always, a sight to see. The thrum of music resounds wherever you walk, including random giant public speakers situated in the middle of sidewalks across downtown. Dinner is accompanied by live performances, and bars pulse all day and into the night. Even here, music unites generations and seamlessly transcends language, border, and cultural barriers, unlike any other medium. It transports you in time and balances your mood as your mind gets locked into the rhythm of sound.
Without a doubt, you, just like I, can close your eyes and remember exactly what you were feeling as your 17 year-old-self, and so many other moments of your life when a song plays that triggers a very visceral memory - of being accessible and filled with adventure. And when those songs of our youth play - you can remember exactly the feeling, the smell, the sound - all triggered by sound and the memory of that beat.
As we age, music becomes entwined in our memories - and its beat continues to the thrumb of life as it enhances and makes memories - becoming part of every moment and making each more memorable.
Music is the never-ending story more brands should become part of if they genuinely want to become part of pop culture - and hip to the generations to come.
As a marketing tool, music is one of the MOST AFFORDABLE ways for brands to partner with a high-powered celebrity to engage consumers and deliver rocking ROI - with really low CPM. Did you know 43% of consumers are reported to purchase a product after seeing a celebrity endorse it? That includes music artists too...
Brands featured in music videos or as part of a tour sponsorship are viewed as celebrity-approved, which ultimately helps drive brand sales. And you being the brilliant marketer behind those successful campaigns? They get a promotion. ;)
Who says there are no guarantees in life? With music videos, dollars talk, and brands can lock in guaranteed appearances on screen, become trendsetters, and drive social chatter. All are typically within eight weeks or less.
Brand exposure in a music video has the potential to far outreach the viewership of what can be secured through product placement in a movie or TV show, with the additional benefit of global impact. Music videos on the norm from famous artists reach hundreds of millions - even more than a billion impressions. Crazy reach with CPMs lower than anything you can purchase across any other advertising platform.
Music is ageless and enjoyed globally and can be used by brands to target consumers by age, sex, music taste, and even psychographic detail. Music provides a constant beat to our daily lives, and brands that successfully harness this power open the door to becoming trendsetters, driving the social conversation, and reaping sales profits.
Digital video consumption is rising, becoming today's mainstay of consumer exposure to music videos. Combined with the fact that the TV advertising space has become overly cluttered, music videos have become an extremely prevalent medium for product placement in recent years.
Music videos offer one of the fastest turn-around times from script to screen in entertainment marketing. This is terrific for brands that are at the ready – and very difficult for brands who need more time to evaluate and consider.
To ensure the ability to move quickly when that right fit resounds over the airwaves, brand managers should put a plan in place with these nine steps to create a successful music video partnership.
ONE: First, decide the minimums that will create happiness for the brand marketing team. Partnering with a music video or the lyric video that accompanies the debut of top hit songs allows the brand to integrate seamlessly into the music storyline. Who says there are no guarantees in life? With music videos, dollars talk, and brands can lock in guaranteed minimum seconds and appearances on screen. The music video producer will work to incorporate the brand into the storyboards so that all manage clear expectations.
TWO: Consider who the desired demographic is. That demo will determine what music genre and artist to target. From rock to pop, country to rap, and more, there is a genre that fits every brand, regardless of age.
THREE: Determine the available budget. With integration fees typically ranging from the high teens for emerging artists to the mid-six figures for prominent every-household-knows names, knowing what budgets are public will allow the brand manager to hone in on appropriately tiered artists.
FOUR: Get a copy of the song to determine if it supports the brand's messaging. Light, fun, flirty versus violent, or overtly sexual make a big difference.
FIVE: Find out what the video's storyline will be. Many music videos interpret images and scenes from the song's lyrics, while others take a more thematic approach. Make sure the story will provide brand lift versus negativity.
SIX: Review the storyboards to ensure an opportunity for organic integration. Just as with any entertainment partnership, consumers want relevancy.
SEVEN: Realize that not all music artists will drive a partnership into a home run. Some artists are not brand-friendly and may make promises they don't keep. Get ironclad agreements to protect the partnership, including penalties for lack of performance should the brand offset a significant budget by providing an exclusive location for the shoot or a high quantity of product. Make sure the label and the manager are on board and determine who controls the artist's execution of the plan.
EIGHT: Consider the artists' social media reach. There is tremendous value in creating supporting marketing tactics that allow the artist to engage their fan base with the brand. See what legs can be built with teasers and artist-driven brand calls on those social media sites. Build artist-driven sweepstakes that will further promote the partnership.
NINE: Consider what opportunities exist to bring the brand partnership to life outside the music video. Partnership options beyond storyline integration with music videos include:
When a brand becomes part of a music video or lyrics of a song, the brand partnership is there forever. Consumers need to pay attention to the advertisement and are more likely to trust the opinion of the artist promoting the brand in the song or video. Music and brand partnerships are here to stay and will only grow and develop into highly strategic business models.
Now – where to start? We can help. This is where a seasoned entertainment industry expert with developed relationships can come to your aid and help you get that info on that next hot artist while protecting your brand and ensuring the partnership is ironclad and amplified to increase sales.
The value of this type of partnership is clear. Marketers gain exposure for their brands or products through the music videos, which are seen by millions of viewers, around the world, and also through the possible promotion of the brand by the artist on his or her social media. The benefit for the artist is, simply put, money.
Product placement with music is a solid marketing tactic. Brands can build upon their lyric or music video, and expand to having an artist social influencer layover program, in-store retail, music download partnerships, or even a larger celebrity endorsement capitalizing on the brand's relationship with the artist.
We've written some other blog posts on product placement in music videos, which you can check out below, as well!
And be sure to look at our Product Placement and Promotions 101 Guide which provides even more insight on how to position your brand with content producers to gain incredible consumer engagement and increase sales!
Stacy Jones, Hollywood Branded's founder and CEO, has over twenty six years of leadership experience building global entertainment branding campaigns for top Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of brands. Her career started after receiving her BFA in Theater Production & Scenic Design from the University of Arizona. Acknowledged as an expert in the field, she has appeared on CNN and MSNBC; spoken at conferences around the globe from Germany to Beijing; and has been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, Financial Times, The Economist, Brandweek, Advertising Age, Variety, B&C and Mediaweek amongst others. Originally from Texas, you will still hear her ya’ll as she gathers the team for strategy planning sessions. Like all true entrepreneurs, Stacy is an adventurer at her core – having sky dived, hang glided off bi-planes, swam with crocs while rafting the Zambezi in Africa, photographed grizzly bears in Alaska, trekked Mayan ruins in Belize, explored the ocean as an avid scuba diver, and who loves owning an advertising agency where she swims with a different type of Hollywood shark on a daily basis.