Ray-Ban Aviator in Top Gun or the Predator model in Men in BlackAsics Onitsuka Tiger in Kill Bill 1 or even Coca-Cola in Stranger Things. When we talk about product placement in the world of cinema, and more recently, in that of series, iconic products quickly come to mind. For the music industry, the examples may seem less obvious… And yet, there are many of them! Currently, this type of placement even attracts more and more advertisers by its ability to create a real close relationship between a brand, an artist and his community.
The music industry: a massive audience
As a reminder, product placement is a marketing technique that consists of coherently integrating a product, a service or, more broadly, a brand universe on an audiovisual medium. It can be a movie, a series, a music video or even shorter video content dedicated to social networks. Today on everyone’s lips, thanks to the explosion of influence marketing, product placement is a branch of a more global strategy, Brand Culture. For example, if a brand wishes to do musical branding, several activation choices are available to it. Cobranding, endorsement, concerts or private events, activation at a festival… And therefore product placement.
Democratized in the early 2000s, product placement initially appeared as a healthy alternative for a music industry in the midst of a crisis (piracy, decline in CD sales, etc.). At the turn of the 2010s, this same industry gradually began to change thanks to the appearance of streaming platforms. Finally, in recent years, the explosion of social networks has led to a proliferation of short formats, encouraging people to watch other longer formats.
Renault product placement in Selah Sue’s Wanted You To Know clip with rapper Damso (to date 1.1 million views on YouTube).
This new way of consuming musical content has allowed the music world to once again create an impressive audience. For proof, just look at the most watched content in the world on YouTube. Overwhelmingly, these are music videos.
Music: a powerful emotional vehicle for reaching younger generations
Beyond the quantitative aspect of its audience, the music industry is a fertile and effective playground for captivating the youngest. Rejecting traditional advertising en masse, Gen-Z is looking for authenticity and inspiration. This generation does not see itself as customers, but rather as communities, both targets and ambassadors of a brand universe. Today this generation does not discover the hit of the moment on the radio or on MTV, but rather on TikTok, YouTube or Instagram. According to a 2021 study by the National Syndicate of Phonographic Publishing (SNEP) the discovery of new musical releases among the under 25s is now done 82% by streaming and 42% via social networks. A trend confirmed by Loïs Potier, Co-founder of the Résonne agency.
“More than ever, today, the new generation is increasingly listening to music with their eyes! Discovering an artist is no longer confined to just listening to them. It is also necessary to understand its visual universe. Visual universe which, through social networks, is an integral part of the artist’s identity. »
Evian product placement in the Ensemble clip by rapper Orelsan (to date 3.3 million views on YouTube).
Powerful and universal emotional vector, music has therefore become an excellent way to strengthen the attachment between a brand and a young audience while creating commitment. However, to be effective, a product placement must not be carried out blindly by only caring about the visibility offered by an artist or a group. By appearing in a clip, an advertiser endorses the values of the artist and the symbolism of his character. The matching must therefore be consistent. Thanks to the power of prescription of the artist, a brand will thus be able to strengthen its positioning with a community of fans.
This association is obviously not asymmetrical. A good product placement must succeed in deepening and expanding the artistic universe of a musician while allowing him to have an additional income. Indeed, it has become very difficult for many independent artists to properly monetize their work. Even though things are changing slowlyabout 90% of artists receive less than 1,000 euros per year from streaming, even though their titles sometimes exceed 100,000 plays.
Don’t fall into the trap of “the sandwich artist”
For Gen-Z, product placements in the cinematic universe have become way too aggressive activations over time, without the slightest ounce of naturalness. At the end of 2021, many young twittos had, for example, made fun of the latest James Bond. For them, Daniel Craig was not a secret agent, but rather a sandwich man. Indeed, because of the health crisis, the opus Dying can wait had to be postponed several times. The advertisers present in the film then asked to shoot certain scenes again in order to update their products put forward. Say so, we can clearly see that the mechanics of product placement are forced here.
In the music industry, it is obviously advisable to avoid this pitfall which would ultimately be counterproductive for the brand and for the artist. A good product placement must know how to follow current trends while anticipating or creating the next ones. Ten years ago, electronic music was king, now it’s more rap and urban artists who are popular. As a result, streetwear fashion brands and consumer product advertisers have been increasing their forays into the world of music for some time now with product placements or collaborations.
Product placement for the energy drink Crazy Tiger in the music video for Organized Band, JuL, SCH, Kofs Naps, etc. (to date 436 million views on YouTube).
In the end, as with any good marketing activation, an advertiser must know how to surround himself with experts. There is no magic formula for successful product placement, everything will depend on the universe of the brand, the budget and the creative intention, as explained in detail by Loïs Potier, Co-founder of the Résonne agency.
“Watching a clip or an artist’s networks comes down to a voluntary approach by the audience to find the medium they want to watch. A brand, a naturally integrated product, making sense with the story told and consistent with the artist’s universe is ultimately an advertisement conducive to the reception and acceptance of the message. Especially since zapping is impossible when a placement appears in a clip! The artist endorses the brand integrated into his own content and makes you want to do the same. Product placement offers a testimonial from the artist to the brand and its product. »
To learn more about Résonne and its activations, go to its dedicated page!
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Product placement: why bet on the music industry?
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