The 10 best brand music strategies of 2015

best brand music strategies

2015 has proven to be a great year for brands who are using music as their hook to create meaningful and personal connections with consumers emotively. We’ve seen how music has been driving marketing in full force last year and has produced significant results. It has left little doubt that an effective way into consumers' hearts is through their ears.

In this article,we share our favorite brand music strategies which have successfully used music as a marketing tool to turn music-loving fans into brand-loving fans.

Converse uses music to give back to its core demographic...the musicians

This is one of our favorites as we believe its approach to the whole music strategy has been a dedicated one. Converse used music to gain a deep connection between brand-lovers and music fans. It created a free recording studio named “Rubber Tracks”, which was inspired by its CMO Geoff Cottrill whose deep passion for music has helped steer all things marketing at Converse. “Rubber Tracks” is a community-based recording studio dedicated to help starting musicians jumpstart their career.

Converse gave musicians the platform they needed, positioning them at the centre stage of its marketing campaign. What makes this campaign even more powerful is that Converse identified these artists to not only be creative partners, but also the core consumers of the brand. By consistently acknowledging how musical talent deserves the brand’s support, Converse owned musicians as a loyal audience. Through music, Converse was able to differentiate its brand identity from other shoe manufacturers.  This is why this American shoe company is globally popular and loved. It has more devoted fans on their Facebook pages (37.6M) compared to Adidas (21.8M) and Nike (23.4M).

 >>Read our article Converse uses music to give back to their core demographic..the musician<<

British department store John Lewis' ad creates emotive storytelling through music

John Lewis makes our list with its memorable Christmas ad, which used music to spread the message of goodwill among the elderly. It has been consistently upping the ante since 2007 by releasing stunning commercials with its emotional storytelling by using a combination of brand values, strong narrative and the right choice of theme song. Last year's Christmas ad “Man on the Moon” is exceptional. The company used music to create a powerful story to stand out from the clutter of holiday marketplace, particularly when most retail stores are focused on the heavy sell.

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The ad which has has over 21.6 million views on YouTube to date, used a downbeat cover version of an Oasis’ song entitled “Half The World Away” sung by up and comer, Norwegian singer, Aurora. Essentially this is what John Lewis does best. It uses a fresh talent to create a new render of a popular song and by doing so, produces a signature rendition exclusive to the brand. Music has assisted John Lewis in forming emotional connections with its target audience for almost a decade and as it appears, the brand’s emotional footprint grows stronger and bigger each passing year. With so much competition in the marketplace, brands can learn from how John Lewis’ heartfelt ads used music to inspire a community to do good.

 >>Read our article British department store John Lewis' ad creates emotive storytelling through music<<

HP launches streaming service to engage millennials into buying laptops

HP also partnered with UMG last year in a marketing move to make HP computers a preferred choice of the younger demographic. The company launched a music streaming service called “HP Lounge”, which is available for free when consumers purchase a brand new computer. This campaign was cleverly tailored to capture consumers’ hearts through their ears. It is a strategic approach of using free music service to appeal to millennials, but also a way for HP to gather valuable customer data. In this offer, HP certainly has made music at the forefront of its brand and by doing so, sets itself apart from other Windows laptops.  

>>Read our article HP launching streaming service to engage millennials into buying laptops<< 

The music app that only plays on the Williamsburg Bridge NYC

We love this one as it’s so unique and original that it would have you asking UNO NYC goes to all that effort for such a short ride. It’s a simple but clever marketing strategy. The Brooklyn record label, UNO NYC, on July of last year released a music app that only works on the Williamsburg Bridge. It tailored a 2 track playlist daily to people’s exact location on the East River overpass. This marketing campaign was so in touch with the technology of today and was very innovative in creating a buzz for the record label to promote its artists, such as Mykki Blanco. What makes this campaign clever is how it used geo-targeting to capture a specific audience. This was an innovative approach that sparked engaging conversations on social media.

>>Read our article The music app that only plays on the Williamsburg Bridge NYC<< 

Coke's innovative "drinkable ad's" flow from TV to Mobile with Shazam

Coke Zero Taste ItCoke Zero launched a completely interactive campaign as part of its sponsorship at the NCAA Men's Final Four competition back in May. Coke has a gigantic 26-by-36 foot “drinkable billboard” encouraging consumers to physically interact with its campaign. What makes this campaign brilliant is how it used music discovery app, Shazam, to enable consumers to communicate via their phones on how delicious a Coke Zero was. In addition, consumers were able to unlock additional mobile content via Shazam. Consumers also used Shazam app to unlock mobile coupons which they would use to redeem free 20oz bottles of drink. 

This makes it on our list because of its innovative approach in using a music app to connect TV ads to mobile interactivity and by doing so, created a memorable and unified consumer experience. The campaign earned 166K hits from Shazam and a 15% conversion rate. It was a well-balanced campaign with multiple consumer touchpoints. This is definitely an authentic consumer-centric campaign to quench our marketing thirsts! 

 >>Read our article Coke's innovative "drinlable ad's" flow from TV to Mobile with Shazam<<

Munchery pairs up food with music to offer consumers a unique dining experience

Munchery made our list for using music to differentiate and add value to their services. It was a short-term marketing campaign, which allowed subscribers to this meal-delivery start-up to order dinner and a custom-made soundtrack by Google Play Music. The campaign provided customers with a unique dining experience using a playlist which was tailored around consumers moods, times of day and activities. This marketing campaign proves how a brand can use music in a short-term campaign but reap the long-term gains later on. Music can be a vehicle to gather valuable data, which brands can leverage on later. Through music, Munchery was able to get to know its customers better. Pairing food with music was a clever way to stand out from the clutter of services in the restaurant industry.

>>Read our article Munchery pairs up food with music to offer consumers a unique dining experience<<

H&M uses music marketing to drive social media engagement

Florrie & H&MH&M has successfully used the music to extend its brand’s emotional footprint outside its physical stores. On January of last year, we were all introduced to their new muse Florrie, who showcased her own line of fashion completely inspired by her music.  

H&M also sponsored Coachella where it built clothing tents so that festival goers can purchase and change into ‘festival ready wear’. Music sponsorship was seen to be a big part of its marketing strategy, particularly when Nielsen music report stated that “76% of festival attendees report feeling more favourable towards brands that sponsor a tour or concert.”

>>Read our article How does H&M use music marketing to drive social media engagement<<

Smirnoff Vodka uses music to bring people together & create a lifestyle for its brand

With communication constraints on advertising of alcoholic products, Smirnoff has been using music in their marketing strategy to engage millennials by promoting a music-centered lifestyle. This year, to launch a new line of liqueurs, the company continued along the music theme with Smirnoff Electric, where musicians such as Djemba Djemba, collaborated to produce the song “Give it to the moment.” The aim was to create a global social movement enriched by music collaborations that spanned across the globe with the catchy hashtag #WhatWeBring. The campaign used music to celebrate diversity of age, race, gender, sexuality, culture and style. Through music, Smirnoff echoed a positive message about inclusivity around the world. 

>>Read our article Smirnoff Vodka uses music to bring people together & create a lifestyle for its brand<<

Hotels use music to drive loyalty for a younger hipper crowd

The collaboration between Marriott International and UMG is a match made in “music” heaven using the hotel’s reward system to successfully acquire and retain customers. The campaign called #WithTheBand is rewarding consumers with a memorable music experience. The campaign, which started on June of this year, already premiered live performances including UMG artist, Ellie Goulding. The marketing campaign has also included branded video series, social content, music downloads and concerts. It’s a clever way to market to the next generation of travellers with the universal language of music.

Marriott Rewards has more than 50 million members who will be eligible to participate in more than a dozen sweepstakes in order to win VIP concert experiences. Its loyalty card holders will also be able to attend UMG-sponsored events and after parties at premiere music industry events and festivals.

 >>Read our article Hotels use music to drive loyalty for a younger hipper crowd<<

Brands use music in their marketing strategy to turn music-loving fans into brand-loving consumers

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American Honda & Woven Digital partner up to connect with millennials via rich storytelling

American Honda has incorporated music in its marketing strategy over the last year to extend its brand's emotional footprint and engage with millennials. It has  been a music sponsor at music festivals such as Founders’ Governors Ball, C3’s Austin City Limits and Live Nation’s Music Midtown in Atlanta. Its latest partnership with Woven Digital called “Uncharted: The Power of Dreams,” aimed at connecting with millennials via rich storytelling.

Uncharted was created as an extension of  Honda's music stage program which also has  its own YouTube channel. The series also broke new ground for Honda Stage, adding an element of emerging talent to the mix, complementing the brand's overall commitment in producing quality music content for music fans. Honda used music to reinvent its brand identity and stand out in a cluttered world of automotive cars.

  >>Read our article American Honda & Woven Digital partner up to connect with millennials via rich storytelling<<

Music was successfully used by these brands in order to resonate with their consumers by hitting them with that emotional nerve that is within all of us.

As seen with all these campaigns, there is no limit to what marketers can achieve by using the #PowerOfMusic to drive impactful results.  Just as the way consumers access to music has changed over the last several years, brands can adapt and introduce new means of communicating with consumers by ensuring music in marketing is king!

If you found value or insight from this post, please consider sharing it on Twitter or Linkedin. Thanks for reading! 

This article was previously published in marketingmag.com.au and music-asia.com.

Copyright Pictures Property: coke.com, YouTube.com, theauburngirl.com

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Category: Music & Brands

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