Brands share the spotlight with music's brightest stars

Giles Fitzgerald

Music has been liberated by a wave of technological advancements. With the CD losing ground and vinyl all but dead, music fans are embracing a new ecosystem of music consumption. As a result, brands are moving in from the outskirts of the music business to take a more prominent role.

A brand harnessing the emotive power of music to boost sales is not a new concept. When food manufacturer General Mills used a male quartet to sing what may have been the world's first brand jingle, for its 'Have You Tried Wheaties?' breakfast cereal ad in 1926, brands and music entered into a pact that is still going strong more than 80 years later.

However, despite the fact that brands had latched on to music at the onset of radio, and leveraged the zeitgeist surrounding the concept of the music video at the birth of MTV, they remained on the periphery of the music business. They simply borrowed, using the music industry as a giant lending library, dipping in for the odd commercial soundtrack but never embracing music itself.