It’s so Brand new…

First edition cover
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Groove Armada’s recent “record deal” with uber-booze company Bacardi got me thinking about branding of bands and the choices bands make and why.

Yes, it’s a brave new world out there. I firmly believe that more and more bands will go independent (in fact, Twitter told me that Fiddy, Pearl Jam and Ryan Adams would all be free agents by the end of the year) and the money will have to come from somewhere.

But partnering with a brand goes much futher than if they can fund your next record or not – it has to be about cause alignment, about authenticity of relationship. There should be no one between the band and the fan and anyone who IS should be clearly aligned with the artistic intent of the band, otherwise you lose the only real currency any band has anymore – credibility + trust.

Pearl Jam + Nike? I don’t think so. But Pearl Jam with Whole Foods? OK. Coldplay + FairTrade. Radiohead + WarChild. U2 + R.E.D. White Denim + Threadless. Panic! at the Disco & Pitchfork.

What kind of branding / sponsorship would you accept from your favorite act?

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One Response to It’s so Brand new…

  1. David Rose says:

    The “right” sponsorship for an artist is really tough to determine since fans can respond so differently. I remember when Bob Mould’s song ‘See a Little Light” began being used to promote financial services firm TIAA-CREF on TV my reaction was “Good for Bob, I bet he is making more from licensing for this commercial than he did on sales of his last record”. Several of my friends complained that Mould was a sell out…

    Artists should just use common sense when considering sponsorship / licensing opportunities and trust their true fans will support them. I’m always happy to know my favorite artists are getting paid!

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