Posts tagged ‘Advertising and Promotion’

March 28, 2008

Brand on the Run….

The question of whether bands like to be associated with advertisers has yet again surfaced this week in what is a very intriguing dichotomy.  At the beginning of the week The Smashing Pumpkins announced their decision to sue Virgin Records for breach of contract.  http://music.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,2268037,00.html    This is purely on the grounds of artist integrity and the fact that the band didn’t want their image splashed all over an international promotional campaign with Pepsi, (probably not the coolest brand) although that never stopped Madonna or Michael Jackson. 

 In diametric contrast Groove Armada announced a deal later on this week pledging their allegiance with Bacardi  http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/news/20080327_groove_armada.shtml  This deal would have turned Billy Corgan in his coffin!!  Effectively Groove Armada have signed over their publicity rights to Bacardi,  any new music or gigs will be performed through the brand name.  This will bring plenty of extra wealth to the tables of Findlay and Cato.  And who would deny them of that?

Of course this is not the first time artists have colluded with the other side. Robbie Williams, Moby, Britney Spears, U2, Jet, Daft Punk, Eminem, to name but a few.  Even the iconic greats of Dylan and Macca have advertised  – Apple of all things!  Even Mr integrity himself, Jack White – wrote a song for Coca Cola!  Some have done it for extra recognition,  most have done it for extra publicity and all have done it for the filthy lucre.  Or maybe they just feel strongly about the product and want to promote it? Bono’s justification for advertising the ipod!

Could this be the future of music?  With bands becoming increasingly more autonomous and the wealth distribution becoming more advantageous surely it is only natural for musicians to want to sell their creative talents in the name of commerce.  So why have The Smashing Pumpkins spurned the opportunity?

Well there is only so much money a person needs, surely!  Once you have become wealthy through the money of your fans, why is there a desire to accumulate more money through sponsors?  People invest emotion and time into their favourite bands – living vicariously through their artists visceral energy and candid intellect.  When musicians start to commodify their talent they begin to lose their supreme right to inspire and entertain the people.  After all we are surrounded in a world of crass commercialisation, is it not right to expect our idols to live beyond the superficial world of sponsors.