Monday Matinee Mad Men: You Can’t Always Get What You Want

New business is the life blood of any agency but so are those large-scale retainer accounts that back in the day, paid agencies a straight 15 percent fee. Since Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce lost Lucky Strike, it’s been a free-for-all in trying to find that next great account.

This week SCDP found itself winning new (old) business with Mohawk Airlines – and was still trying to land the elusive Heinz business. Over dinner with Don, Megan and his wife, the Heinz client delivered his own “brilliant” idea to pair the brand with a hot new band called the Rolling Stones, getting them to sing “Heinz, Heinz, Heinz is on My Side” to the tune of  the Stones’ classic “Time is on My Side.”

Usually one to squash a client’s idea, Don instead agreed to investigate the possibility of securing the band. After a failed backstage ambush at a Stones concert inNew York, Don and Harry drown their sorrows (and Harry’s medicated munchies) in fried food.

Interesting fun fact: The idea wasn’t too much of a stretch as the group created a jingle for Rice Krispies back in 1963.

Teaming bands and brands isn’t a crazy concept anymore. In fact, it’s everywhere these days, and seeing this strategy in its nascent stages is part of what makes this episode so fascinating.

Artists have exclusive and dedicated audiences. They have the power to unite people of all ages and demographics and create evangelists. Artists are their own brands. But if used strategically, they can help raise another brand’s profile.

Live Nation has mastered this concept by partnering popular artists with brands that resonate with their fan bases. Using data analytics, Live Nation was able to determine tendencies of fans for particular artists. For example, some of their integrated marketing programs include those for Beyonce and Citi; Thirty Seconds to Mars and HP; and Hertz and Fitz and the Tantrums.

Today, though, it’s about more than just a 30-second ad featuring a big-name act. A smart marketing program engages music lovers at every brand touch point – before, during and after the show, on Twitter, Facebook, mobile apps, and via VIP events at the venue.

But as Don Draper would likely point out, just because you can have the Rolling Stones sing about your beans doesn’t necessarily mean you should. An example of a good partnership between artist and brand in today’s age comes from Translation. The agency created an original song for Wrigley called “Forever” with Chris Brown back in 2007. The song featured Doublemint’s catch phrase “Double your pleasure, double your fun” throughout the song, which ended up being a No. 1 hit and garnering extensive exposure for Doublemint. Chris Brown represented a youthful vibe that Doublemint was lacking. He helped connect the gum to the next generation

What Live Nation, Translation and others know to be the golden rule of branded partnerships, is that the star brand has to be a fit for the corporate brand. If there isn’t an authentic connection between the two, you’re left with disappointed fans, celebs and marketers. So even though the Stones weren’t right for Heinz beans, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t another band out there that would do the trick.

Perhaps in next week’s episode the Beach Boys will make a cameo appearance. Unless they’re way down in Kokomo.

Posted on April 2, 2012, in DiGennaro Communications, The Hit Board and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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