“Music is kind of the unsung hero of advertising,” says Daniel Jackson, CEO of London-based Cord Worldwide

Using music to market your brand is one of the most organic was to connect with your customers. As creative thinkers, we have to think of new and exciting ways to grab people’s attention every day. Don’t think we know of anyone who doesn’t relate to music? It’s an instant bond that is created between the customer and the brand, where music is the medium. In this article, I’ll be delighted to take you through various trends for music marketing, and happy that I do not have to use international case studies for citing top music marketing campaigns used by various brands. India is getting mature with music marketing. As a matter of fact, the two industries really have been going hand-in-hand since a very long time, it’s time we acknowledge and integrate these key trends into the marketing plans.

The artists are chosen for brand promotion usually by personal preferences, not after conscious and complex decision-making process. We wonder why that’s the case?

In 2018, Indian brands must follow these 5, unique, creative, low-budget and high impact marketing trends. Let me take you through trends guiding on how to use music in advertising and positioning your brand rightly.

1. Music Community Driven Marketing 

Community marketing is a strategy to engage an audience in an active, non-intrusive prospect and customer conversation. As per definition, there are two types of community marketing:

  • Organic or natural marketing occurs without the assistance of the company. Organic marketing is word-of-mouth marketing and is one of the most effective marketing methods
  • Sponsored community marketing is promoted by the company through activities, such as via investments in Music communities, or even social causes and communities.

In 2017, Puma took the lead by supporting the street community via the Suede Gully campaign. While this example fits really well for Content Marketing too, this video traveled places and established Puma midst the street circuit in India. You can read more about Puma’s Community Marketing Campaign here. 

Music Communities in India are very close-knit. For a brand to connect itself with a music cult can be very favorable to them. For example, associating your brand with rock community, hip-hop, electronica, regional, classical or even Bollywood. Some of the world’s strongest brands were originally built through low-cost community-based marketing. Nike, Starbucks, and Google are some great examples.

Here are reasons why you must focus on music community marketing this year –

  • It’s Cost Effective
  • Grows Brand Loyalty
  • Maintains Authenticity
  • Drives Innovation
  • Supports Natural Reinvention

Community marketing both online, and offline has a great potential for your brand to reach the right audiences. In fact, it has proven to be very output driven and will show you great return on your investments.

2. Engaging With Indie Artists

It’s always more exciting to be a part of something new and fresh than piggybacking your identity on commercial big names. This is not only cost-effective but also very powerful. Indian music talent has a large variety of sounds if you partner with the right record label, management company, marketing agency you’ll be surprised at the response you’d start receiving.

In 2018, attach yourself to the youth via music marketing. Music marketing in its very nature revolves around influential marketing. There is no better way than amplifying your brand message via music, and independent artists!

What Levis did in 2017, is something marketers must take look at, and is one of the key trends for 2018.

Source – Levis Facebook Page

As a part of Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Original Denim Jacket Levis executed a phenomenal event hosted at Famous Studios, Mumbai. This indie campaign was curated by the team at Only Much Louder, the indie giant of India. Levis had 50 top musicians to customise their own jackets, visit the levis store to pick up their best outfit, talk about their design to their fan-base and towards the end, perform live to an audience of 2000+ people in Mumbai. The key indie music influencers who were a part of this initiative included names like Blackstratblues, Kavya Trehan, Prateek Kuhad, Vishal Dadlani, Sidd Coutto, Tejas Menon & MANY more.

 

 

3. VIDEO is the only way UP! Content Marketing Is Going To Continue To Be The TOP trend.

In 2018, content marketing is about creating interesting content people actually want to engage with. Based on the Dan Digital Report unveiled by Dentsu network, SonyLIV & exchange4media states “85% of the Internet user base spends up to 1/4th their waking hours on the Internet. Proliferation of on-demand video content on mobile is overshadowing linear TV viewership. Streaming mobile video content has seen exponential growth in the last two years on the back of 4G connectivity and cheaper data plans. That video is driving data usage and Internet usage, is no surprise.” 

We do have a clear winner here, If your company hasn’t invested into engaging interactive video content, then now is the time.

A great example is this campaign executed by Mondelz, for Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk, called the #SILKSONG featuring Arman Malik & Shirley Sethia. They rolled out a new music video for its premium chocolate brand – Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk. This video conceptualized by Ogilvy & Mather in collaboration with Balancing Act showcases a rendition of the Silk Jingle by Bollywood singer Armaan Malik and YouTube star Shirley Setia.

The Campaign Video reached to total 4M+ viewers across YouTube & Facebook.

Prashant Peres said in a statement given to ET Brand Equity “Digital is gradually becoming a lead medium for youth brands and we have seen consumers routinely express their love for our jingle on social media and therefore decided to gratify them with this truly special rendition. We’ve combined the immense popularity of Armaan Malik and Shirley Setia with the mass appeal of the Silk jingle to create some magic. We’re confident that consumers will love the sweet twist added by these artists to their favorite #SilkSong,” he added.

To accompany the product update and a refreshed packaging, Mondelez India rolled out its new communication with a digital-first approach. The #SilkSong music has been conceptualized by ace musician Clinton Cerejo.

Music x Advertising is where the MAGIC happens!
4.Collaborative Marketing via “Music” in Advertising 

Collaborative Marketing, in a nutshell, is the process of sharing resources to increase leads, brand, and influence. Not surprisingly, the Internet has made the option of collaborative marketing easier than ever. Collaboration Marketing is the process of aligning your company’s interests, resources, and marketing muscle with other like-minded companies, in this case, music entities, to accomplish much more than you might be able to do on your own.

Pulling the top names together dramatically increases the brand recognition, customer value, and customer retention for each. 

Example, Brands At Bacardi NH7 Weekender!

We are talking about enhancing and engaging with 50,000+ physical experiences via live concerts and festivals. I was at Bacardi NH7 Weekender 2017, Pune. Starting from Bacardi owning brand equity in music, there are multiple branded stages at this festival. From Jack & Jones stage, Dewars Stage, Breezer Stage, The Bacardi Arena and the other stage by Insider.in. Each stage has a different genre, which a brand attaches itself to. Pulls the right customers, and viewers. It’s incredible.

We see multiple youth brands, from similar industries coming together to target the same audience, it’s sort of a healthy competition of multiple brands present there. It brings out a collective strength.You can also open any magazine to find collective ads that promote Top Lifestyle Brands, Top Youth Brands, or even Top Live Venues, it’s absolutely similar to that. Only that, collaborative marketing at music properties are more organic, provide a tangible experience, creates brand loyalty and identity.

5. Brand Equity In Music

India is yet to pioneer this one, and we truly believe this is a trend your brand must catch-up to this year. Long-term partnerships where brands own equity in co-created IPs is what I am talking about here!

Music provides not just a personal relationship, but a long-term loyal behavior as well by offering emotions, experiences, exclusivity, and engagement. There is no reason why a brand must not co-create products with music to build a stronger brand.

Lassar, Mittal, and Sharma (1995) suggest that consumer brand equity is another reasonable dimension that can be distinguished through five dimensions: appearance, value, social image, trustworthiness, and engagement.

A good example for this is Nike running shoes: customers purchase the lifestyle accompanied by a cross-branded iPod enjoying freedom and fresh air in a comfortable and secure way by listening to their favourite music.

Personal experiences and word-of-mouth marketing are essential in this model than other marketing activities.

6. GO, Guerilla!

Guerrilla marketing is an advertisement strategy concept designed for businesses to promote their products or services in an unconventional way with little budget to spend. This involves high energy and imagination focusing on grasping the attention of the public in more personal and memorable level. There’s nothing better than connecting with your customer this 2018, go unconventional way via music in Guerilla Marketing. The main idea of guerrilla marketing is that the activities are done exclusively on the streets or other public places, such as shopping centers, parks or beaches with maximum people access so as to attract a bigger audience. Google Pixel &, TINDER are the new ones on the block.

Did you catch Camp Tinder at Bacardi NH7 Weekender 2017, Pune?

Tinder did a phenomenal campaign organized by OML, at India’s biggest festival, Bacardi NH7 Weekender 2017.  There was so much to do in the Tinder experience zone. This installation was extremely engaging, showcased the true nature of the brand’s identity, involved multiple icebreakers. It was a very cozy set-up, kept the audiences going post the main stage show at the festival was over.

Go through this Pictionary created by #Tinder captures taken at the festival.

Picture Source – Tinder, Facebook Page

7. BIG Data! COLLECT DATA VIA MUSIC MARKETING!

DATA, Data data! EVERYTHING is data!  While we see a lot of sponsorship deals done with music festivals, or streaming sites. Ever wondered what it’d do for your brand if you could capture, collect the data of people who attended and streamed on these portals? You could track consumer behavior, demands and there is no way to do this than via fans!

Big data is revolutionizing the way marketing & sales. In marketing, big data is providing insights into which content is the most effective at each stage of a sales cycle. Content marketing, live activations, influencer marketing, whichever the area maybe, utilize the power of music, and it’s loyal reach to capture data in 2018!

 

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Editorial Lead, Business Head & Founding Member of Loudest.in "Promoting positive community & economic growth in creative businesses"

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