Tagged: branded entertainment

GROUP M NEXT research discovers we love music. No really, we do.

groupm-logoI’ve got through January and I feel I avoided BIG DATA as much as possible. Now that February has arrived I think I can be allowed one mention of the BIG D. I am no fan of the marketing concept that is BIG D, for me just having loads of data is fairly useless. Data is an ingredient we need to create insight, what I would like to see more of is BIG INSIGHT. So I was very interested to see that GROUP M Entertainment, Sports and Promotion employed GROUP M NEXT to provide GROUP M with some proprietary insight on how people really quite like music, GROUP M, sorry I think I’ve developed a tick.

So the insight has been delivered in the form of a report called The New Music Model for Brands: How Live Events and Digital are Changing the Sound of Things. I’ll summarise it, people like music, they listen to it loads and they like brands when they help them listen to it. OK it’s a lot deeper than than but I think it is better if you read the report itself, its good stuff. If you don’t have the time just yell out “People like music, GROUP M says so” when you are stuck for something to say in a meeting.

ALL ABOUT THAT DATA: Havas and Universal Music work together to build big spreadsheets

 havas-advertising-newUniversal Music Logo
Welcome to 2015 the year in which music and brands will finally work out who wears the trousers in this relationship. To begin the year we have the news that Havas and Universal Music have agreed to have one leg each.

This one has been bubbling under for a while, since Vincent Bolloré, head of the Bolloré family, the largest Havas shareholder, became chairman of Vivendi, owners of Universal, it seemed like a logical move for both businesses. Whether this was all worked out over dinner at Chez Bolloré, Havas’ chairman happens to be Yannick Bolloré, son of Vincent, or through some in-depth analysis of the music and brand market and a realisation that it lacked a super power, I will never know but it is probably the biggest commitment to cooperation we have seen so far.

So what is it all about? On the face of it and if you read the various press releases the whole thing is about data, lots and lots of data, I’m not going to say BIG DATA (doh!) as that is so 2014. They have even managed to sneak the word data into the collaboration’s name – THE GLOBAL MUSIC DATA ALLIANCE – which I think should be shortened to GLOMUDA for no real reason. There is loads of talk about combining all the numbers that both sides gather on their audiences and using them to work out better ways of combining music and brand to everyone’s benefit. At this stage then the focus is very much on building some really enormous databases and working out some spectacularly complicated algorithms to make sense of them. This kind of analysis will help prove the case for music and brand relationships of all shapes and sizes and I guess it will not be too long before GLOMUDA (trademark pending) becomes self-aware and Ed Sheeran is being hunted down by a cyborg from the future.

For music and brand geeks the GLOMUDA is an exciting project between two real powerhouses in their industries with the very highest level of executive backing. Where I think the real potential for this relationship will be is in a year or two’s time, once they have enough data to create accurate insight into music and consumer trends. If they take this insight and use it as a starting point for some outstanding and innovative creative work then Universal and Havas could be building a market leading platform. But it is just the starting point, both sides will also need to invest heavily in creative talent as translating insight into inspiration is the true key to success.

In the past partnerships like this have not worked as one side saw it as a bit of fun while the other considered it a way to get someone else to pay the bill. This partnership, however, could change that simply because of its scale, the board level support should ensure that the Havas agencies function collectively rather than competitively when it comes to music projects while Universal has a pretty progressive view of brand relationships. Plus if all else fails Mrs Bolloré can always step in and sort things out.

So to start 2015 we have a biggie and one that we will need to observe throughout the year, if anything so we can see what impact GLOMUDA has on Music Dealers (Havas) and Globe (Universal).

Here are links to the Havas press release and coverage in AdAge:

Havas press release

Adage: Bands and Brands: Universal Music Partners With Havas

UPDATE: Well it didn’t take long for someone to ruin my BIG DATA avoiding 2015. This article on mediajobs.com gives a more cash focused reason for why HAVAS + UNIVERSAL = DATA, DATA = CASH.

BRANDED CONTENT – A Quick Sense Check

ImageLast night I attended the launch event for the Best of Branded Content 10th Anniversary Book organised by the BCMA and held at the offices of DigitasLBi.

I have some experience with branded content as I spent the best part of two years exploring the market and developing strategies for how brands could fund very high-end entertainment content. The event was a good opportunity to catch up on some of the best branded content of recent times and it got me thinking about what really makes a great piece of branded content whether it is a podcast, a music, video, a short film or an app. Is there one check that works across all forms of content that makes it more than just an ad. After watching a load of case studies, some good, some bad I landed upon on a single question.
Let’s start with the assumption that all branded content stems from a client brief which is brainstormed by a chosen creative team. The creatives will come up with some ideas to present, they will justify their chosen route to the client using a selection of cliches, post rationalisation, social media data and You Tube examples in the hope that the client can seethe emotional and financial benefits of flying Martin Scorsese, a camera crew, an elk and two bongos to the Amazon to demonstrate the features of a new digital camera. I’m being facetious but I wanted to create an extreme setting for my branded content sanity check. Watching the case studies I kept asking myself one question:
“If the brand had pulled the budget would the creative team have begged, stolen and borrowed to turn their idea into reality?”
If the answer is no then I think it would be sensible to wipe the whiteboards clean and start again. This is by no means a flawless analysis but I think what it does is create a base on which it is possible to differentiate between an ad and entertaining content.
If you are interested in having a look at some of the case studies that I have chosen not to give my opinion on here are some links:
If you just want to watch a load of Viral videos then check out Unruly Media’s fantastic Viral Video Chart.