Big Brands Spending Big Bucks

Brand partnerships are nothing new for artists, but the depth of investment and increasing acceptance of brand presence by artists and fans is growing. 2014 saw an unprecedented number of brand partnerships, and the old taboo of selling out seems to be fading.

Increasingly, big CPG brands are turning to for insights into what music lovers are listening to across the country. They know that music selection and data are crucial for informing campaigns.

The reality is that it's truly hard to predict the perfect fit for brand/artist/campaign magic, which is why Target works with multiple artists each year to release exclusive versions of albums available only through the retailer. So, who drove the most earned media value last year for Target? Not T-Swift as you might guess, but Trey Songz ($1.9m) and Sam Smith ($1.8m). Passionate, engaged fans seem to be the secret sauce.

Trying to tap into a younger, more urban demo, Lincoln teamed up with Aloe Blacc to release "Love is the Answer" with a branded interactive video in early 2014. The video shot for Lincoln’s #MusicUncovered campaign was presented at four different perspectives, allowing viewers to enjoy the experience from the vantage of various characters.

When it comes down to brands and artists teaming up, it really all boils down to the execution.  When it's authentic and true to the artist's vision, everybody wins.