Challenged to reevaluate their budgets, it's clear brands see music as a core component of their near-term marketing strategies. As Goldman Sachs' Music in the Air report points out, consumers see music as a haven during uncertain times, giving brands an opportunity to create a sense of escapism and community.
This quarter, we saw brands lean into these themes to reimagine what music brand partnerships can look, sound and feel like. Here are our top four trends for the quarter. Soundtrack Your Brand and MRC found 41% of consumers will spend more time with a brand if they resonate with the music it plays across its brand touch points. This is even more true when examining a brand's TikTok strategy, where 9 out of 10 users see music as a critical part to the platform experience and as a core component to greater ad recall.
With music intertwined in almost every form of media and content, the new consumer battleground is in owning share of ear. For Alka-Seltzer, connecting with ears started by refreshing the brand's "plop, plop, fizz, fizz" jingle and turning it into a song with the help of T-Pain.
For Mastercard, the brand built upon its first single "Merry Go Round" by releasing a 10-song album entitled Priceless. The album embodies Mastercard's sonic identity and nods to the diversity of sound distinct to various parts of the globe the brand operates in.
"We are finding innovative ways to connect with people by subtly integrating our sonic DNA into music that consumers enjoy," said Raja Rajamannar, CMO and president of Mastercard. "We are using our sonic DNA integration to build closer connections to those with a passion for music while staying authentic to the artists' vision and style."
With 60,000 new songs a day and music recommendations remaining one of consumers' biggest pain points, brands have an opportunity to connect with oversaturated "lean-back" streamers who are looking for playlists and cultural A&Rs to shape their personal listening habits.
For Bacardi, their Music Liberates Music program acted as that guide, tapping fashion brand Nahmias and Grammy-winning producer Boi-1da to develop a branded EP featuring three emerging artists. Rather than rely on playlist placement, the brand created a new lean-back discovery model that turned a capsule collection of clothing embedded with QR codes into a gamified point of distribution for the album, rewarding fans for their engagement and listenership.
"Music Liberates Music was specifically designed with community and connection in mind--it's about bringing fans closer to, and sometimes even discovering for the first time, emerging and underrepresented artists," said Laila Mignoni, global head of brand marketing communications at Bacardi. "As a legacy brand, we are always looking for ways to stay top of mind for consumers, and music is a fundamental part of that strategy."
There is a distinct value superfans bring to the table for brand marketers. According to Spotify for Artists, the top 5% of an artist's fan base listens six times more than the rest, leading to greater engagement and a deeper connection with the artist and the brands they partner with.
To mobilize superfans, brands must look to give exclusive access to the artists they love. For Coca-Cola, that meant partnering Coke Studio with singer Halsey to bring her fan base closer to her new single, "So Good," by creating a one-of-a-kind music video that weaved together music, art and animation to enhance the listening experience of the song.
"Music as an avenue for exploratory and exclusive content is perhaps the most impactful way to drive an emotional connection with an audience," said Brittany Hershkowitz, MikeWorldWide's executive vice president. "Brands should be encouraged to explore the role music plays in their audience's daily lives to ultimately drive meaningful brand consideration."
The author predicts that, as we look ahead to Q3, brands will continue to lean into live music to connect with highly engaged audiences. There will be big investments in music to scale brands' Web3 strategies, whether that be a brand's metaverse strategy or presence in an NFT marketplace.
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