The dream of any music agency is to become the single supplier of a massive conglomerate and today Big Sync Music announced they are in dreamland by becoming the exclusive supplier of music services to Unilever.
It is a big step for Unilever, a massive opportunity for Big Sync and a huge challenge for both as of them as they try to herd all their marketing agencies through a single music channel. But as long as the agencies play nicely then Unilever will now be in a position to implement effective sonic branding strategy across countries, territories and the world. It is a bold move for Unilever to commit to a single supplier but a sensible one as they now have the capability to create consistent and efficient identities for their brands and develop music strategies that are global marketing campaigns in their own right.
Exciting and exhausting times ahead for Big Sync Music. Now please wash your hands.
Here is the full story in Music Week.
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:
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.
Honda are well known for their love of quirky car advertising so it is no surprise that they’ve done something interesting again. They’ve not stuck an ageing Hollywood action hero on the top of a Civic, instead they’re singing about how great everything is.
The ad comes from the minds of RPA and features a specially composed track put together by Hum and the band Vintage Trouble. It is a music driven, pardon the pun, film and once again Honda’s agency does as much as they possibly can to focus on the brand and not the product. I’d like to state now that I own a Honda Civic so I fully appreciate how dull the majority of their cars are.
Honda’s campaign is titled “One More Thing to Love about Today” and also features a partnership with Spotify that will allow participants “to create a unique, social media and music mash-up by connecting their activity on various social platforms and set the scrapbook to music they were listening to at different times in their lives”. That sounds to me like its adding your Spotify history to your Facebook posts but I’ll have to wait to see if I am right about that. They are also teaming up with SoundHound to provide full track previews somewhere. Oh wait they are also going to offer 8-track stereos in all their new models and reinvent Opera. Alright I made up those last two bits.
Honda has a nice piece of creative here but maybe the “go-faster stripes” they’ve added with the digital music platforms are not really adding much. We’ll have to wait and see but in the meantime #LoveToday.
With winter approaching it seems sensible to start thinking about next spring and with spring comes SXSW. So if you are thinking of attending next year’s behemoth, Austin based event then here are a few sessions at the Music bit that sound quite interesting for some insight into how brands and music have been or will be working together.
So if you are lucky enough to be in Austin next March with a few hours to spare between wandering the streets and bars check out the sessions.