Music Dealers

Miller Chill Gets Their Music Right…If Not Their Beer
May 12, 2009, 10:05 pm
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A recent posting on an Advertising Age blog sings the praises of a new Miller Chill TV spot – specifically the strategic selection and execution of music in it.

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As this article affirms, often and justifiably, “marketers take a lot of heat for merely slapping cool tracks onto spots as an afterthought.”  And it points to this spot (embedded below) as an example of a brand doing the opposite via a song that has the “perfect mix” of sounds and mood that sync with the visuals, story, and pacing of the spot.

I’m with the article’s love for the use of music here.  I think the track is the strength of the ad which allows this otherwise unspectacular product-focused spot to break through and catch the audience’s attention.  I applaud Miller for taking the time and making the effort to find a song that not only fits the spot, but enhances it and becomes the lynchpin of the execution.

What makes this even more noteworthy is that the song is by the relatively unknown band, The Dodos.  This is undoubtedly the biggest exposure this San Fran indie rock duo has ever received, and is already opening many doors for them and garnering them a larger audience.  Miller should get even more props for digging up this unknown act versus taking the easy route with a Jet or Rolling Stones song.

Even though I don’t agree with the concept of this Corona-wanna-be, as I prefer to drop fruit in my suds at my own discretion – and I’ve tried Miller Chill and found it to be the most repulsive beer I’ve ever tasted; even more so than Bud Light Lime – I can at least get behind their taste in music and approach to implementing it into their marketing efforts.  Not that that will make me buy their product.  Nothing short of adding the fountain of youth to the mix will get me to do that.


Leg Room 5.20.09
May 11, 2009, 2:17 pm
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Nineteen-Year Old Song Bigger Than Ever Thanks to Commercial
May 6, 2009, 10:39 pm
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Here’s another illustration of how advertising is today’s radio, music video, and P.R. push all in one. 

By now, you’ve probably seen the new Heineken commercial featuring a cab full of singing inebriates, and which is aimed to discourage drunk driving.  If not, check it below.


So, yeah, it’s the most polite, lucid, least obnoxious and least vomity bunch of drunks you’ll ever come across.  Along with an equally gregarious and accommodating cab driver who is seemingly completely delighted to be lugging around singing drunks after a late night.  This isn’t exactly how my cab rides with friends go at the end of a night.  

But it’s the song they’re all happily singing together that makes this spot stand out.  Biz Markie’s 1990 track, “Just a Friend.”  The nearly forgotten song that barely cracked the weekly top ten or annual top one hundred when it was released nineteen years ago.  But now, according to the article below, is apparently generating a lot interest from music fans as it’s currently one of iTunes best sellers where it’s topping the latest singles by such artists as Lily Allen, Kanye West, and Kings of Leon.  And solely because of this commercial. 

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Obviously, it’s well known and understood that the exposure from a commercial can and will generate interest in a band or song.  But this is extreme.  A nineteen year old, novelty song that was never a huge hit (it finished at #94 in 1990) becoming an instant best seller in 2009 simply because of an anti-drunk driving commercial?  Incredible.  Good for Biz though.  I’m sure he could use the dough.  Maybe next we can get some love for Technotronic, Keith Sweat, Dino, Glen Medeiros or any other of 1990’s one year music stars.  Just no Wilson Phillps.  Please.

Common Partners with Diesel for New Men’s Fragrance
May 4, 2009, 11:10 pm
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Chicago-bred hip hop artist, Common, is partnering with Diesel to release a new men’s fragrance called, “Only The Brave.”

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According to the release, Only The Brave is a “scent that represents the man who takes a stand” and is “a fragrance about seizing opportunities and making a difference.”  That is one ambitious smell they’ve concocted.

Never one to shy from a corporate partnership (previous endorsements include The Gap, Microsoft, and Lincoln Navigator), Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. – a.k.a. Common – will be featured in a full-up campaign for the fragrance that includes TV (spot below) and print (ad above).  It can be assumed his song, “The 6th Sense” will also be utilized in the future, as Diesel makes a point of stating how it “fully embodies the spirit of Only The Brave.”  Additionally, Common will be performing in select Diesel stores worldwide.

As for the genesis of this partnership, Common states, “I’ve always thought Diesel was a progressive, fresh brand – it has a classic feel but pushes the envelope.  I wanted to partner with Diesel because that’s really what I’m about too.”  And Diesel’s President confirms, “Common perfectly represents the spirit and energy of Only The Brave fragrance: passion, will, and conviction.”

I’m still not buying the magical powers of this new scent, and from Justin Timberlake to Scarlet Johansson to Michael Jordan, it seems like every celebrity is releasing their own patented fragrances today.  But at least the fit between artist and brand makes sense in this case – dare I say Common scents? – and Diesel is leveraging Common in multiple marketing platform to get the most from their partnership.  So, I can buy it.  And hey, I like to seize opportunities and make a difference so maybe I should buy myself some of this magical spray too.

Erasable Pens and Hair Metal
April 30, 2009, 7:23 pm
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Business Week blog has unearthed what may be the first case of product placement in a music video.  And it involves a writing utensil and an early eighties hair metal band.  Naturally.  

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If it’s not the absolute first music video product placement (video embedded below), it has to be a very early case of it.  And at least the first for a hair metal band.  

But it actually makes sense.  Paper Mate was able to integrate their product into the video in a prominent way, yet doesn’t feel overtly crass or forced.  And the band was able to get a free video produced by showcasing the product and using it themselves (and even illustrating the pen’s revolutionary erasable function).  So, both parties benefitted from the partnership.  
Plus, the video was apparently seen by a lot of heavy metal fans based on the jump in sales of this disc  cassette tape after the video was released.  So, although there’s no records of Paper Mate’s business following the video release, the product was seen by plenty of viewers in the hands of this rad band…which was the goal…and thus qualifies this partnership as a mutually beneficial success.  (Not to mention, the band is called Autograph, and their album, “Sign in Please.”).  
And hey, they even made it an integrated campaign via the promotional poster below.
So, it all makes perfect sense after all.  Turns out Autograph was further ahead of the times than we ever knew back in 1984.  And I hope they got a lot of complimentary pens out of this, and stored them away with their hair dryers and leather pants.  Because I’m afraid that’s likely all that remains of their music career.

Hennessy Tabs Hip Hop Artist to Help Launch New Product
April 27, 2009, 10:44 pm
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Hennessy cognac has selected rapper/producer Swizz Beatz to help launch a new product for the brand, and will leverage him in multiple traditional and non-traditional channels.

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So, Hennessy Black is the company’s first major product launch in almost 60 years.  As part of his involvement with Black, Beatz will peform an original song – “When I Step Into the Club” – at a NYC launch event.  The song, which presumably will reference the new Hennessy Black, will also soon have a full length video, that again will presumably include plenty of prime placement of the new cognac.

What’s interesting about this partnership is that Beatz approached Hennessy about working together…and Hennessy actually listened.  As a Hennessy marketing exec tells it, “Beatz is a long-time fan of the brand and approached us looking for ways we could work together.”

In addition to the song, video, and special performance, Hennessy will also conduct a dance contest on their YouTube channel called “Up/Down” where consumers will be able to create and post their own dance for a chance to be flown to LA and cut into a new version of the “When I Step In the Club” video.  Other tie-ins with Beatz are also supposedly in the works.




Not sure about the dance contest and how that fits with and elevates the Henessy brand.  But I like how they are working with Beatz to integrate the product into the song and video…and not trying to hide it.  Consumers are generally savvy enough to see through veiled product plugs anyway, so why not just be overt with it and get as much as you can out of the partnership instead of trying to be coy.

And sounds like Beatz really likes and uses the product anyway, so it’s not that fraudulent of a partnering.  And a hip hop artist and Hennessy Black is a natural fit so it’s really not much of a stretch.  It might be a little different if it were Michael Bolton or Huey Lewis promoting Hennessy Black.  Entertaining perhaps.  But different.

And the award for “Music and Brand Partnership of the Year” goes to…
April 24, 2009, 2:43 pm
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U.K. based Music Week Magazine has announced the recipients of their “’09 Music Week Awards” – which includes the category “Music and Brand Partnership of the Year.” And the winner is….


That’s right – Bacardi and Groove Armada. We previously discussed this partnership here – and have used it as a touchstone example of a brand getting the most out of music today and leveraging it in new and effective manners. So, we’re obviously behind this choice. Music Week describes the partnership as “unprecedented” and “bold,” but more than anything, it was successful and mutually beneficial to both the band and brand. Anyone can do something unprecedented and bold – but if it’s not effective, then what’s the point, right?

Here’s the full summary of the partnership and why it won.

And to give a little more insight into these “Music Week Awards” – they “promise to celebrate to the maximum all that is best in our industry” and are “uniquely placed to do this as it is able to focus on every sector within the business.” Other awards included “Artist Marketing Campaign of the Year,” “Music Retail Brand of the Year” and “PR Campaign of the Year,” along with many others. For more on the awards and other winners, check out the link below.
No word on why other favorite partnerships as ours such as Nickelback/Citibank (discussed here) and L.L. Cool J/Sears (discussed here) weren’t on the list. They were probably just too mind-blowing and rad for our friends across the pond.