Pi Attitude Zone: Affiliation & Cohesion

The Perils Of Rockstar Brand Endorsements

It used to be said that the Devil got all the best tunes.  These days, it seems, Lucifer has to wait in line behind big international brands.

It’s no secret that the popular music business has seen a serious revenue decline lately, with the online marketing of hit tunes failing to replace the industry’s rapidly dwindling receipts from CD sales.  Only live concerts and tours seemed to be bucking the downward trend, and revenues from those favor the big name bands at the expense of up-and-comers.

But wait.  Now the music biz seems to have found a new way of making money.  Music artists are striking endorsement and sponsorship deals with brands, in a bid to protect their incomes against the long-term decline in revenues from music sales.  A music industry consultancy comments that “There has been an increasing recognition recently of the power of music to add value for brands”.

Collectively, musicians earned over  £100m ($150m) from brand tie-ins in 2012.  A case in point is Madonna’s deal to pitch for the Smirnoff vodka brand.  The popularity of musical acts is a powerful carrier-wave, especially with the youth audiences most sought-after by advertisers. 

The path does not always run smooth, however.  In the wake of the Madonna tie-up, Smirnoff was dobbed (sorry, that’s British slang for ‘reported’) to the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority.  Smirnoff was charged with encouraging under-age drinking.

In the event, the brand was cleared by the regulator on the basis that Madonna is... well...  no spring chicken any more.  The fact that Madge is now enjoying her sixth decade of self-promotion (she was born in 1958) meant that she was “unlikely to influence strongly the under-18 age group”, the Authority tartly decided.

Pi says: phew!  But supposing it had been Miley Cyrus instead?

Zone: Affiliation & Cohesion Country: Europe Product – Leisure