Join the band?: More than ever, marketers are letting the music do the talking

Robin Schatz

Key insights

  • The music and the brand have to have shared values.
  • Find emerging artists and work with them to make the music you want.
  • Music can radically change consumer perceptions of a brand.
  • Artists aren't part of your media inventory; they're a relationship that can take a lot of managing.

Brands have been aligning themselves with musical artists for decades and, in the case of Coca-Cola, for more than a century. In 1904, Metropolitan Opera diva Lillian Nordica became one of the brand's first celebrity endorsers. In a full-color print ad from 1905, she strikes a regal pose in a sweeping white satin gown, her left hand clutching a large fan made of luxuriant green ostrich plumes, her right arm draped over a golden pedestal strewn with red roses and graced with a tall glass of you-know-what. She doesn't have to sing a note for us to know that beauty and elegance, music and artistry go well with Coke.