Artists + Brands
In the age of instant and boundless knowledge, brands have a tough time staying relevant and current in their marketing campaigns. How do brands maintain their relevance when Generation Z is too busy using those pointless stickers on their iPhone? (I mean, really. Aren’t emojis basically those stickers? Who asked for those? Make a phone with better battery life.) Luckily, we’ve worked with a few brands that have stayed on the cutting edge when it comes to cultural relevance. In today’s post, we will discuss the three brand spots that we’ve done with three different clients; all of whom utilized the power of musician notoriety to further their reach. First, we’ll dive into the content that we’ve released, then we’ll invoke the logistics of why they worked.
Audio-Technica | Matt Delisi
We got the ideation for a new Audio-Technica spot ‘Circle of Music’ shortly after our collaboration with their ‘Elevate Your Game’ spots. Originally, the idea didn’t call for a musician to be featured in the spot. However, we were able to collaborate with Judah & the Lion’s frontman, Judah Akers. Audio-Technica used his influence to enhance and engage the creative to tell the story of their product further. Not only that, but we used their song, “Take it All Back,” to be a through-line of the spot. The idea showed that their headphones extended beyond professional use; that they are the ideal product for any music lover. The combination of stellar visuals, an influential artist, and fantastic concept created one of our best spots, to date. Audio-Technica was able to incorporate Judah & the Lion’s established cultural relevance to boost their reach on Instagram and other social media platforms. Matt DeLisi (the director), Judah, and Audio-Technica collaborated to mold the project into something exuded authenticity and richness. The end result was a spot that felt natural, concise, and beautiful.
Folgers | Evan Kaufmann
Nashville is the country music capitol of the world, and Razorfish envisioned a unique creative idea for Folgers. The idea: a songwriting session with Grammy-nominated country artist, Chris Young, for whomever could produce the best rendition of the Folgers jingle. The idea was to use a budding, influential artist to reach a younger audience for a classic brand. Evan Kaufmann brought their story to life through stunning visuals. Folgers sought to further their reach to a different demographic. By utilizing Chris Young’s career momentum and Southern charm, Folgers was able to garner an audience that they might not normally receive: younger listeners of country music. I saw the promotion through my personal Twitter, which was an odd moment of shock and pride. I didn’t submit a jingle.
GQ | Sean Davé
GQ Magazine approached us with an opportunity to showcase our own beautiful city guided by country musician, Drake White. It’s all about how to have a damn good day in Nashville. That meant grabbing a hot cup of from Barista Parlor, new digs from Peter Nappi and Hatwrks, an unpretentious gourmet meal from Bastion, and a nightcap at Dino’s Restaurant. The relationship with GQ and Drake White was more mutually beneficial. GQ doesn’t sell a physical product, they sell more of a lifestyle brand. In order to continue their modern, cutting edge aesthetic, they tapped Drake White for him to lend his personality to their content. Drake White benefited from the exposure to GQ’s broad audience. His genuine curiosity for coolness shaped the tempo of the video and the audience’s experience. Then, GQ promoted the video alongside Drake White, and that led to a higher audience engagement. Without Drake White, there’s a whole section of people who might not have seen the content, otherwise.
The idea of hitching a major star to a property isn’t inventing the wheel. Hollywood blockbusters do it all the time. If you’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars, it makes business sense to attach a star that will generate millions of dollars in ticket sales. Brands do the same with artists. Unilever, a company across the pond, attached artist Charli XCX to their new deodorant line and saw a 462% spike in sales. Not only that, but their Instagram followers doubled during the campaign with Charli XCX. The strategy to leverage that audience over all platforms pays dividends in marketing.
It’s not surprising. Vinyl sales have risen 54.7% year-on-year at the global level. Artists’ creations are being discussed and interacted with as a collectible, tangible art. Music is an emotional touchstone; the artists we enjoy every day are, at their core, storytellers. Brands are not inherently storytellers. Rather, they create, market, and sell products. As generations of consumers become more cynical, traditional marketing strategies fall off and give way to new, innovative brand-artist partnerships. These relationships garner authentic connections, cultural relevance, and compelling content.
Involving the artist in the brand’s creative process is also a vital component to the brand’s success. The creativity of an artist is an invaluable asset, especially if the artist believes in the product or the story your brand is aiming to tell. Brands ought to be constantly in the mode of thinking outside of the box and evolving their approach. Artists build their careers on that very maxim: they’re always evolving while maintaining their core voice. Perhaps most important, music is part of people’s lifestyles; you interact with an artist on your commute to work or while you wash the dishes. Brands don’t want a flashfire. It’s imperative to remain a part of the culture. When you blend the artist and the brand, campaigns are positioned to be massively successful.
Revolution’s base of operations is in the Music City; our positioning is ideal to merge visual storytelling, brands, and artists to create something alluring and engaging for audiences. We have access and relationships to the best creatives in town, which is a perk of 20 years of operation. Our years of helming some of the most iconic music videos in the industry with Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift bestow a sense of professionalism and understanding that other companies don’t possess. Furthermore, we’ve worked with some of the largest brands in the world: Verizon, Bose, RAM Trucks, Coca-Cola, and many more. Combining the two worlds of artists and brands is various and exciting; we are excited to explore this vast strategy to tell the most compelling stories.
By Benton Olivares