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    Sounds like Branding in paperback edition and more…

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    The Swedish version of Sounds like Branding has been reprinted in a paperback edition by Swedish publisher Norstedts, and is available for purchase here. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (A&C Black Publishers Ltd) plan to publish the book in the UK on the 18th of July. The book will also be released in South Korea by Acorn Publishing this Autumn.

    For more info, subscribe to our latest news (up to the right), or just continue keeping an eye on this blog.

    Interested in the English beta version of the book? Subscribe here or download it here.

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    Pepsi Refresh Project Challenges America to Rock the House for a Good Cause

    Yesterday, Pepsi launched the second year of its Pepsi Refresh Project, calling on people from across the US to submit ideas that have the power to move communities forward.

    The categories are EducationCommunities and Arts & Music, but in addition to these three, Pepsi will announce a new Pepsi Challenge each month. This month, Pepsi is challenging fans to channel their love of music to drive social change by asking, “How would you rock the house for a good cause?”

    Pepsi is enabling innovative ideas through the Pepsi Refresh Project, a platform for inspiration, learning and taking action. By awarding more than $1.2 million each month to ideas that receive the most votes at www.RefreshEverything.com, Pepsi aims to encourage ideas that capture the youthful optimism in all of us. Pepsi truly believe that every individual can refresh the world!

    Find more information at www.facebook.com/Pepsi, or on Twitter @Pepsi or #pepsirefresh.

    Via popsop.com

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    SXSW 2011 Ups&Downs

    Eric Welles Nyström, member of the Heartbeats Movement and our man at this year’s SXSW, gives you the ‘ups&downs’ in regards to bands and brands performing at the much celebrated music conference in Austin, Texas.

    SXSW Brands Top Three

    • The ‘Fader Fort by Fiat’ and how they let Odd Future go totally ballistic onstage.
    • TDK and their new speakers series that combine 70s vintage design, 80s boombox concept and modern technology, to create the best product across the whole of SXSW.
    • AOL and their continuous well-thought-out and well-executed events.

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    SXSW Brands Bottom Three

    • The ‘Fader Fort by Fiat’ and their lack of new ideas and creativity compared to previous years. Having bands play on car parts was the ultimate low.
    • Chevrolet, Camel and Marlboro and their lack of understanding on how to introduce their monster products into a creative music festival.
    • All brands, companies and labels who wasted their marketing budgets on download cards, scrapers, useless gimmicks and flyers that nine times out of ten, were thrown away by whoever received them.

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    SXSW Top Trends

    • Brooklyn’s dark electro/art music scene of gothic, witchlike sets and strong influences of 80s synth and old movie soundtracks, received wider recognition with a number of parties outside of Austin.
    • Esben & the Witch, Glasser, Friendly Fires and Millionyoung continue developing their style with tribal drums.
    • One common denominator among SXSW’s best dressing artists… hats! Including Totally Totally Enormous Extinct Dinasour’s remarkable dinosaur feathers, Theophilus London’s wool felt cowboy hat, Twin Shadow’s brown furr hat, and Night Jewels traditional Fez…

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    SXSW Most Symbolic Moments

    • Theophilus London’s freestyle rap backstage at the Fader Fort, where he made up the ‘The Brand Song’, in the most branded place in the country.
    • Hanson and their hustle throughout the whole city. One day you would see their new album plastered across major billboards, and the next day you would find them in the audience of panels and hustling keyboard speakers for industry insight and feedback.
    • As the Saturday night came rolling in and local new media stated that it was the largest full moon in Austin for more than ten years, everyone from Jay-Z, Jamie XX and James Blake, along with countless other major artists (Kanye West, LL Cool, P. Diddy to name a few) and a couple of hundred other bands played free shows throughout the city.

     
    SXSW Most exciting projects for 2011-2012

    • iTunes project with Green Label Sound
    • Converse’s new recording studio in Brooklyn, Rubber Tracks
    • Vice’s concert recording site Noisey.com

     
    SXSW Top Band Performances

    • Glasser at the Central Presbyterian Church
    • Braids and the fact they don’t have an album yet
    • Gayngs and their 20+ people onstage performance
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    SXSW in a nutshell…

    Check out artist Theophilus London spontaneously performing “The Brand Song”, shot backstage at Converse’s gifting lounge in the Fader Fort at SXSW, Austin. Backed up by the guys in The Weekend, Theophilus captures the essence of this music and marketing festival in just a few words…

    By: Eric Welles Nyström, our man at this year’s SXSW

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    SXSW and The Fader Fort by Fiat

    As one of the worlds busiest and most important music events of the year, SXSW has today almost become just as much about brands as of bands. Since starting 25 years ago as an alternative festival in what still considers itself the ‘World Capital of Live Music”, Austin, the conference and festival (which also includes film and interactive), now features +2000 artists, from all over the world, showcases, parties, keynotes and major events taking place in bars, parks, parking lots, hotel pools and basically everywhere throughout the city, during a busy two week period.

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    In addition to that, Austin is flooded by innumerous brands that through official partnerships with SXSW or independent events try to get a share of the crowd of music fans, consumers and tastemakers. One event is The Fader Fort, a concept developed by The Fader Magazine and its parent company Cornerstone. Always featuring the most talked about talent, top of the line event production and lots of free beer, food and products, it has been the most popular and well-produced event at SXSW during the last few years. Basically, it is here you probably will see ‘the next big thing’ before anywhere else.

    Located a few minutes walk from the main SXSW venues the event is open for anyone over 21, who RSVP’s in time. Everyone at The Fader Fort is treated to a range of free products, and bands performing at SXSW are taken care of by special coordinators. As for this year, visitors could grab free hats from New Era, get their music gear tuned in a workshop lounge, play ping pong next to the DJ booth, and enjoy old school movie popcorn and free beer. From a special media lounge, bloggers and journalists helped promote the event to the external world, while Sirius broadcasted live satellite radio from a small booth in the centre. Further down behind the stage, The Fader team hosted interviews and streamed the event online. At the other end in an almost hidden lounge by the exit, VIPs and performing artists could pick up giveaways from Converse and TDK, and jam in a mockup of Converse’s new studio. In short, there were lots of places to hang out, get free swag and have a good time.

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    For the past few years, the setting of the dusty old warehouse on an equally dusty old street has been ideal for the Fort’s regular sponsor, Levi’s. However, after Levi’s surprisingly dropped their commitment at the end of last year, Italian car giant FIAT became the new title sponsor. Sadly, even though there was a potential of doing something new and original given the car company’s great history and widespread popularity for its older car models, it appeared like FIAT had no clue how to approach the event… The bright and shiny cars, which frequently were polished by teams of non-Italian-but-Italian-looking models, appeared like they had been dropped randomly inside the event without any natural connection to the event itself. Added by a number of oddly placed business reps hanging out in the midst of all the relaxed young festival goers, the vibe of car sales offices and bad Italian TV-shows was getting stronger by the minute. To top it off, a brass band was jamming music beside – using old car parts as the instruments. Previous years have also featured local brass bands welcoming guests to the entrance, but then luckily they have been allowed to keep their own instruments. Hopefully they will get to do that next year as well.

    By: Eric Welles Nyström, member of the Heartbeats Movement

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    SXSW Panel: Brands as the New Labels

    In one of the most relevant and interesting panels at this year’s SXSW conference, representatives from Coca-Cola, BlackBerry, pioneering creative agency Cornerstone, advertising agency McCann Erickson, and Songs Music Publishing discussed how and why brands have become the new record labels.
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    Whether it be through massive global campaigns (e.g. Coca-Cola breaking the artist K’naan into +100 markets), interactive live events (e.g. BlackBerry’s concerts with Black Eyed Peas and U2, where the fans have been able to chat live through mobile devices to the artists on stage), TV advertisements that have broken numerous young bands (Songs Music Publishing), or the initiative to start long-term (e.g. Cornerstone’s Green Label Sound sponsored by Mountain Dew) or short-term record labels (e.g. McCann Erickson’s spin-off label from a campaign with Holiday Inn), the music industry, its artists and its fans, has developed in a way during the recent years so that brands can step in to help break and launch artists in a number of ways.

    This is no secret for most people working in music or marketing, but with more and more brands trying to get involved in the music scene, and more artist looking to launch major deals with brands, the speakers listed a few important points in order to make a collaboration successful.

    Key points:

    • Fans have become used to, respect and even appreciate the collaboration between brands and artists, and expect brands to deliver them music and music discovery
    • Brands can function similarly to a record label in many ways, by breaking artists into campaigns, commercials or more complex platforms and projects
    • The content created through brand related events have a longer tail and can live forever online, often leading to high traffic numbers even far past the event is over (e.g. for Coca-Cola on YouTube, traffic related to the music of their World Cup Campaigns surpassed the traffic of videos of the advertisements themselves, 80 mill. vs. 8 mill.)

    Building up to the World Cup in 2010, Coca-Cola took K’naan to 83 gigs around the world, to countries like Mexico, Thailand, China, among others where it’s very difficult to introduce a new artist into new audiences. In the end, he topped the charts in more than 18 countries…

    …However, I don’t think that brands are the savers of the music industry, they aren’t silver bullets. But, they offer a very effective way to enhance the marketing needs you have for your artist. The industry understood that 15 years ago, how efficient it was just to add a song to a commercial. The winds are changing on both sides and people understand the need to collaborate. The fact that 75% of people try to avoid commercials and 80% of people engage in music daily is a sign of that match.“, said Umut Ozaydinli, global music marketing manager of the Coca-Cola Company, during the panel discussion.

    To listen to the whole panel, visit SXSW’s live recording here.

    By: Eric Welles Nyström, member of the Heartbeats Movement and our guy at this year’s SXSW

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    Smirnoff extends its Nightlife Exchange Project

    In January, Diageo GB, which owns the Smirnoff brand, increased its year-on-year digital spend for the spirit by 115%, to build on the Nightlife Exchange Project (NEP), launched last year.

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    The NEP was a global initiative, which discovered and celebrated the best nightlife from around the world in one night, on 27 November 2010. Following the launch of the NEP in London, Smirnoff will now be hosting three more events in the UK.

    Agency RPM, the event planner of the project, has approached students from Hatfield University and given them £4,000 to create a bespoke area at the Hatfield event, which will be held this Saturday (25 March). The project will also go to Edinburgh and yet another location that will be voted on through Smirnoff’s Facebook page in the UK, www.facebook.com/smirnoffgb.

    “The Smirnoff brand is all about originality and creativity, so what better place to look for inspiration than with imaginative students?” said Chris Lock, marketing director at Smirnoff.

    The Smirnoff NEP successfully involves its consumers by inspiring them to partake in the shaping of the best brand experience, created by the brand and shared with the consumers.

    In a move to cement its brand positioning around nightlife and music, Smirnoff is further staging a dance music event in the UK, which will be held in London on 13 August, featuring acrobats, lightshows and sets by well-known DJs.

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    The SXSW® Music and Media Conference 16-20 March 2011

    By day, thousands of SXSW registrants will network in the halls of the Austin Convention Center on their way to do business in the SXSW® Trade Show, sit in on informative panel discussions featuring some of the industry’s key players, gain insight from legendary keynote speakers, or plan out their abundant party schedules. By night, SXSW will showcase hundreds upon hundreds of musical acts from around the globe on over eighty stages in downtown Austin.

    Our man at the event is Eric Welles Nyström, a member of Heartbeats Movement, working with artist management and brand consulting for lifestyle companies in NYC. Eric will serve you with fresh news through our Twitter account (here). Don’t miss out on the latest news from Fiat Fader Fort, American Apparel fleamarket and much more… It all starts tomorrow!

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