Day one at Advertising Week saw a consistent theme from the advertisers that descended upon New York City. The kickoff keynote panel was moderated by WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell with executives from Live Nation, Amazon CBS, and ESPN to talk about data, storytelling, distribution and more.
“Consumers don’t think about branded content, they ask if it changed the experience for them,” said Russell Wallach, President of Live Nation’s Media & Sponsorship division. “They feel good about brands that enhance experiences for them.”
Mr. Sorrell pushed the panelists to discuss how they work with data and agencies. Most everyone on the panel agreed that first party data was their primary resource for talking to marketers, but agencies had an unusual role in the middle.
“We see that our agencies tell different things, so it can be hard for us to understand exactly what is going on. Some of our longest partnerships, the ones that have gone on for years, have been direct with the brand’s marketing team,” said Wallach.
A panel later in the day hosted by DDB focused on how to build an influential brand, and the panel continued the morning’s session with a focus on data.
“We’ve almost become data poets,” said Nancy Hill, CEO of the 4A’s. “We take the data that we want and use it to tell stories to our audiences.”
“Brands need to understand the influence they can bring and make a long-term commitment,” said Jeremy Levine, SVP of Digital Sales at Live Nation. “To market with music, they need to be in for the long haul, not a one-off event. We have the data to help that partnership”
Much credit was given to Omnicom agency sparks & honey for hosting daily “culture briefs” that look at the pulse of the conversation by consumers, with an eye towards social media trends.
“You have to have a fluid strategy with an ear to the ground, because things change so rapidly and you need to be ready,” said DDB President Mark O’Brien.
Several hiccups from brand’s real time social campaigns were discussed and the agreement was that global brands want to have an influence everywhere, but they must feel authentic.
“Global brand, local touch,” said Hill.
Russell Wallach, President of Media and Sponsorship at Live Nation, spoke on how the world’s largest live-entertainment company uses data to reach consumers at the second annual Financial Times Future of Marketing Conference on Sept. 17, which brought together executives across a variety of industries.
“The journey of the fan experience, from ticket purchase to the end of the show months later, can be improved by data, and fans welcome anything they can to enhance those moments,” said Wallach.
And what is the future of marketing? The answer is Millennials, known as the most “social” generation ever because of their global, digital connectedness. Many agreed that music is at the intersection of marketing to this group.
“We have first party data from our over 200million-plus user database,” said Wallach. “So that presents a great opportunity for our brand and agency partners to develop unique properties.”
Wallach listed examples that included a recent investment in electronic dance music (EDM) by 7Up to target millennials and Hispanics and working with Kellogg’s to create a summer concert series targeted towards tweens.
To close out the day, Bruce Flohr, co-founder of GreenLight Media & Marketing, sat down with Marc Roberge, lead singer of O.A.R. to talk about how they market themselves to brands. “Music is worthless, yet everyone loves music,” said Flohr. “Everyone walks around with earbuds on, you can’t escape it, but the music has no tangible value.”
“The U2 deal with Apple really put the nail in the coffin for selling albums and completely devalues music,” said Roberge. “We now look for brands who want to partner with us. We want to understand why a brand chose us, and make sure it fits for everyone involved.”
Everyone agreed that the future for marketing is bright but cluttered as brands try to navigate every channel to reach their audience.
Music has become infused into plenty of marketers’ strategies – from using songs in ad campaigns, partnering with artists for tours, and creating live events with an artist in mind. Finding a pitch perfect song or artist for your brand is part art, part science – and all about authenticity.
That was the focus of the panel hosted by Pandora Radio titled “Building The Sound of Your Brand,” moderated by Pandora’s Heidi Browning. Panelists included Aaron Fetters from Kellogg, Ryan Gavin from Microsoft, Colin Jeffery from David&Goliath, and Jeannette Perez from Sony Music Entertainment.
“Music is a huge part of what we do on the creative side,” said Colin Jeffery, Executive Creative Director at David&Goliath. “When we launched the Kia Soul campaign six years ago, we had an odd brief on a semi-odd car. So we created the ad, and played it with different music, to help see what felt right. Our spot with the Hamsters has been one of the top 5 commercials viewed on YouTube.”
Ryan Gavin had a different approach to incorporating music into ads. “What we did with our Internet Explorer commercial was to find the right song, then carve the ad from there. We just played it on repeat and created a great spot. When you have people searching ‘Internet Explorer Commercial Song,’ you’ve done your job right for both the artist and the brand.”
As data continues to be one of the top trends to predict success and influence, Heidi Browning, SVP Strategic Solutions at Pandora noted the success of a song in an advertisement. “After the Internet Explorer ad with Alex Clare, Alex saw a 6000% increase in new radio stations. LMFAO saw a similar increase and only continued to climb in following their ad with the Kia Hamsters.”
For Kellogg’s, they’ve partnered with several companies, including Pandora and Live Nation, to create custom radio stations and events on behalf of their Pop Tarts Brand. “Pop Tarts is meant to be a fun, ‘crazy good’ brand,” said Aaron Fetters, Director of Insights and Analytics Solutions Center at Kellogg Company. “We created a right music that fit the brand, and we were able to meet all of our key metrics of success and reach our target audience in a fun, unique way.”
One of the keys to success is remembering the human element to working with bands. “We are dealing with human beings,” said Jeannette Perez, VP, Music for Brands, Advertising & Licensing, Sony Music Entertainment. “We have to fulfill the client’s needs, but we also need to respect our artists. It needs to be an authentic partnership.” The entire panel was in agreement.
At the close of the panel, the panelists all agreed that music is a universally appealing medium to connect with consumers, but stressed the importance that the brand, artist, and song must all be in alignment for the partnership to truly work and be considered a success for everyone – especially consumers.
A lot has been written about the challenges and complexity of designing great content for the smaller screens of mobile devices. But it can be done, and if mobile is going to earn brand marketing investment, it MUST be done. Last week at ad:tech, Live Nation Network’s President, Russell Wallach, delivered a keynote speech on the opportunities for brands to interact with music fans via the mobile device, before, during and after the show.
Below is an interview Russell did right after his speech with mobiThinking discussing the innovative ways brands are tapping Live Nation to reach their desired customers via the excitement of music and the intersection of technology.