Stones remain a rock solid brand investment

March seems to have been quite a quiet month for all things music and brand, well at least once SXSW was done. Gaga’s Dorito sponsored vomit session seems to have lead to a collective “Yeah, you went a little too far with that one” and maybe the excess of music and brand in Austin left people a little tired. Anyhow I found this piece in today’s Adweek by Ray Waddell that provides a nice gentle warm up for the summer live season.

Research has shown that consumers really like live experiences and the good news is that while concert sponsorship may not be maintaining its stellar growth of recent times it is becoming a lot smarter and more compelling for brands. As the article points out it seems to be the Rolling Stones who are always pushing the boundaries of tour sponsorship, from their perfume deal back in the 1981 through to their award winning partnership with Citi in 2013, they seem to regularly work out how maximise the value for their pensions and their brand partners.

The thing I find interesting about the Stones’ partnership with Citi is that it had such a significant social media element. You see the audience for the Stones is old. I’m generalising a little bit but compared to say 1D’s tribe, the followers of Jagger et al are more likely to be grandparents than teenage parents. So it is impressive that Stones racked up nearly 750 million social media impressions for their North American tour. The thing I take out of this success is that those seeking to target the younger audiences through tour sponsorship have got their work cut out for them. Older audiences are learning to enjoy social media at a steady pace but the youths suck up and spit out new platforms quicker than they can say “It’s not fair”. So with ticket prices for tours and festivals becoming increasingly excessive, brands need to create ever more engaging and relevant ways to use tour sponsorships for audiences and fans. The key for brands is to avoid their instinctive urges to have their logos as large and omnipresent and instead think about how they can enhance the consumer experiences before and after the event. As soon as a gig starts the brand needs to step back put down the clipboard and enjoy the show.

So onwards to Glastonbury and I hope Doritos doesn’t come out with a Gaga vom flavour for this summer’s Artpop Ball Tour

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