With popular songs becoming more and more identified with specific products, and flashy corporate messages vying for onstage space with band logos, today’s music fans are left wondering just where the marketing ends and the music begins. The Wall Street Journal’s John Jurgenson posed that pertinent question today (4/9) in an eye-opening article that turns the corporate sponsorship spotlight on artists ranging Black Eyed Peas to Sting to U2 to the Rolling Stones to Tony Bennett, each of whom has acquired a surprising level of marketing expertise.
While the once-subversive Stones are credited with pioneering today’s flourishing love affair between bands and brands with their 1981 Tattoo You tour and its Jovan Musk cologne tie-in, the master marketer among today’s reigning pop stars, according to Jorgenson, is Black Eyed Peas leader will.i.am. In fact, concert promoter Randy Phillips, President and CEO of AEG Live, posits that will.i.am has the potential to be “the best ad executive on Madison Avenue. I’ve never seen anyone more astute at dealing with sponsors’ and companies’ needs and understanding their brands.” Phillips is planning to have the rapper/DJ deliver a seminar to AEG’s global marketing team.
While Jurgenson restricts his observations to the pop side of the fence, from Miranda Lambert’s print-based campaign for the cotton industry to Carrie Underwood’s current vitaminwater and Pedigree pet products-sponsored Play On Tour, country music artists have been exceptionally sponsor-friendly.
Check out the Wall St. Journal article in its entirety here.