Warc Blog

Brands can exploit pop lyrics

2 September 2013
NEW YORK: Luxury brands should take advantage of unsolicited name-checks in popular songs, by promoting the song through their social pages or finding a way to work with the artist in the future, industry figures have suggested.

"This approach can turn into a strong, synergistic endorsement on both the brand and artist's behalf," Dalia Strum, professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, told Luxury Daily.

"Essentially, this could allow brands to build out their identities and connect to their target market through pop culture and their other interests," she added.

Kelly Cooper, marketing manager for ShopIgniter, the social rich media platform, described the mention of brands in song lyrics as a form of product placement. This, she said, could "build awareness among current and new audiences, strengthen brand recognition as well as influence memory and purchase intentions".

A great advantage of the presence of the brand in a song from a third party is that it does not come across as a promotion or advertisement.

"The competition for consumer attention is unbelievably high and this type of seamless approach is a way to promote products to a highly captivated audience in a subtle way," Cooper observed.

But this third-party endorsement is not without risk, whether that comes from the lyrical context or the artists themselves – their image and longevity or otherwise.

The dangers of aligning brands with celebrities - and how to manage it - is discussed in the Admap article, To celeb or not to celeb.

"If the artist's popularity is short lived, or doesn't align with the brand's strategy and future trajectory, then the lyrics could negatively impact the brand's image and possibly turn the style into a fad," said Strum.

And Cooper noted "a possible negative result" if a brand felt that an association with a particular artist could be detrimental to it. "Whenever a brand loses control over the context of the message, there is certainly room for something to go wrong," she said.

Some luxury brands have been elevated from the lyrics into song titles, so giving them even greater prominence. For example, rappers Migos, Drake, Meek Mill and Tyga teamed up to create a song entitled "Versace", while Jay Z has a song devoted to "Tom Ford".

Data sourced from Luxury Daily; additional content by Warc staff

 
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