Imagem's Steve King & 1Band1Brand's Brady Sadler on the future of music and advertising!


Advertising and music have joined forces in creating some of the most iconic brand stories our world has seen thus far. In fact, it’s impossible to ignore music’s growing prominence in advertising as it’s a natural storyteller, where the right song choice can transform a good idea into a great one. This is also a great way brands can connect with a broader audience that they couldn’t have before.

Before our first ANDYs Redefining Music event next week on July 28th, we wanted to sit down with our friends from 1Band1Brand and IMAGEM, our event partner, to talk about where they feel like the future of music and advertising is going, examples of the best brand campaign told through music, which devices are where marketers should be focusing on, and more.

1Band1Brand is also hosting 1Band1Brand Live on July 22, an event series dedicated to creating authentic relationships between artists and brands. RSVP here today!

See what Steve King, Vice President, US Creative Services at Imagem Music Group, and Brady Sadler, Co-founder of 1Band1Brand and EVP, Growth & Innovation at GYK Antler had to say about where the future of music and advertising lies, where they think the best music-powered campaign really is, and more!

Steve King, US Creative Services at Imagem Music Group

Steve King_Imagem

What’s the best example of an outstanding brand campaign powered by great storytelling through music?

I would have to say that the best example of this is Coca-Cola’s ‘Hilltop’ campaign, which used the song “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke”.  The campaign was so successful, that the song was later re-written without the brand name, commercially released and began charting around the world. The single sold close to 100,000 copies in a day, and about 12 million in total. These are numbers that any songwriter would be happy with.

I was fortunate to work with Jonathan Mildenhall (formerly at Coke) and his team several years ago to try and recreate something similar with the “Open Happiness” song. The idea was not just to create a jingle, but also a song that would have appeal on it’s own.

How has technology changed the game with social media and music platforms like Spotify, etc.?

I believe music discovery is the biggest change. For years, people discovered music primarily through radio and word of mouth. Now, with social media, word of mouth has a much bigger voice.

A person now has a world of music at their fingertips, with today’s technology. For example, someone can Shazam a song that they hear on an Ad or even just playing in the background. Then with the click of a link, it can be purchased instantly on their phone. People can share music and bands, that they are interested in, through social media, and even follow someone’s Spotify playlist from across the world. It’s an exciting time to be involved in the music industry. Technology has changed so many things, in a relatively short period of time, and I look forward to seeing how the next few years play out.

With more and more music/brand partnerships, which devices do you think marketers should be targeting to create the best overall user experience? (Mobile, desktop, TV, etc.?)

 With about a 16% growth rate in smartphone shipments over the next 5 years, my opinion is mobile. People are always connected these days and use their phone for everything from shopping and gaming to social media. Via mobile and through data collection, brands can truly deliver customized services and products to the consumer.

Brady Sadler, Co-founder of 1Band1Brand and EVP, Growth & Innovation at GYK Antler: @BradySadler

Brady Sadler_1Band1Brand

What’s the best example of an outstanding brand campaign powered by great storytelling through music?

My favorite recent example comes from the healthy food chain, sweetgreen. To celebrate their annual sweetlife festival, the brand launched the “Beets Don’t Kale My Vibe Salad” in collaboration with the festival’s headlining artist Kendrick Lamar. Promotion included restaurant signage, branded tee shirts and a portion of all product sales were given to a youth charity. This demonstrated how to extend the impact of a music partnership in a very clever way. It also showed the brand’s sense of humor, their pop-culture sensibilities and their corporate values.

We’re seeing more platforms adding content that is new to their standard repertoire (i.e., Spotify adding video content, Google adding in music-terms to their search results, etc.). Are there any platforms that you think are ripe for adding music as content in the near future?

I think every social network is ripe for additional music content because it provides a compelling opportunity for marketing and advertising. Meta is definitely one to watch, as they continue building their video offering, and strategic partnerships, to compete with YouTube.

Do you think there will be resurgence in radio and radio storytelling with advances in the music and marketing relationship?

There’s definitely an opportunity for resurgence in radio storytelling with the help of brands. However, I believe marketers will increasingly look at non-traditional formats like streaming and podcasts that eschew traditional ad units in favor of native advertising.

What are the biggest trends in music that marketers should be aware of?

I think both industries can agree on one major trend and that is data. Most marketers have been on top of this, but the music industry is catching up. Smart artists are building the infrastructure to support their interactions with fans in a way that mirrors corporate CRM systems. This will allow artists to build increasingly strong relationships with fans and then reach out with unique campaigns and offers. Ultimately this will increase the influence they have and the effectiveness of any brand partnerships.

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You don’t want to miss our first ANDYs Redefining Music event happening next Tuesday, 7/28 at 6pm – register today!

Follow ANDYs on social media at @ANDYAwards and use the hashtag #ANDY2015!