Memory and perception of brand mentions and placement of brands in songs

Eric Delattre

University of Lille 3

Ana Colovic

Rouen Business School

Introduction

‘Now I got to give a shout-out to Seagram’s gin / Cause I drink it and they payin’ me for it’

‘Freek-a-Leek’, Petey Pablo 2004

The words of this song, which was ranked on the Billboard Top 20 Hot Rap Tracks for 36 consecutive weeks in 2004, provide clear evidence that the practice of brand placement in music exists. The insertion of brands in songs is one of the most ignored placement forms. Although brands have been used in folk songs for a long time, this practice did not become a means of communication that involved financial compensation until very recently, and even then only in a marginal manner. American rap and hip-hop have been the pioneers in the field. This new market has aroused the interest of some advertisers. In March 2005, McDonald’s called upon the Maven Strategies agency to persuade hip-hop and rap singers to quote the Big Mac brand in their songs, in return for $1 to $5 per radio broadcast (Murphy 2005).