Music Dealers

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.

Pool Party Sponsored by Music Dealers w/ Kid Cudi
April 21, 2009, 3:36 pm
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Kid Cudi Performing

Pool party – great weather, great music, great time.

Eric Sheinkop & John Williamson of Music Dealers…


Kanye Makes it to The Association
April 16, 2009, 10:51 pm
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The NBA playoffs start Saturday, which means we’re about get hit with a lot of Lebron, Kobe, D-Wade…and Kanye.   Yes, that ever-humble and modest Kanye.  The NBA has selected his single, “Amazing,” as the theme song for their ’09 Playoffs marketing campaign.

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In addition to the commercials that will be airing on five different channels over the next two months, the NBA has released the below music video that features the song as the backdrop to memorable moments from past playoffs.

A Senior NBA marketing exec calls the selection a “No brainer. For decades the NBA has enjoyed an extensive relationship with the music industry – it is part of our game, our presentation, our marketing. This is a classic case where we heard the song and knew right away it was the perfect fit with our overall campaign.

Though going with Kanye West, who is arguably the biggest hip hop star today, may not seem the most inspired or creative choice by the NBA, the song is a good fit and I think they’d be challenged to find something that works better.  And it makes sense for Kanye.  “Amazing” is off his latest “808s & Hearbreak” album that has underperformed compared to his previous efforts.  So, this is a good way to promote this track and get that album back in the consumer mindset.

So, for the first time in recent memory, the NBA has made a wise move.  And at least now we know there’ll be one guy from Chicago still around for the whole playoffs.

Music Dealers Sponsoring Pool Party Featuring Kid Cudi – 4.18 & 4.19
April 15, 2009, 4:24 pm
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Despite All My Rage, I Will Still Sell You My Song
April 10, 2009, 9:58 pm
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Our boy, Billy, is at it again.

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Yes, he’s licensed another one of his most well known songs.  This time to be used as the official theme song for a Pay-Per-View TNA wrestling event.  (He previously licensed “Today” for Visa as discussed in this post.  Guess the price of eyeliner and shaving cream has gone up.  

To be fair, Corgan did partner with TNA last year, so this isn’t a new venture for him.  But that was for the track, “Tarantula,” which was a new single at the time as he began his ill-fated attempt to reunite and re-launch the Smashing Pumpkins.  And with a dearth of available outlets to promote a new single for a nineties rock band, that made more sense.  This time, he dug into his vault and licensed one of his most loved and revered songs.  It’s a little different.  And as discussed in the posting on “Today”/Visa, contradicts his previous stance that this music is “sacred” and “not for sale.”    
But I guess these are hard times even for giant, hunch-back, bald, millionaire, guitar slinging, rock stars.  Hopefully he’ll use his extra cash to get himself an adequate replacement for his recently departed drummer, Jimmy Chamberlain.  Or better yet, to pay Jimmy enough to come back.