Last week I was invited to Ogilvy's music and brands event ‘Lab Day Live’. I outlined the event in my previous post and here I'd like to mention a little about the success of the day and my observations.
Taking place in Ogilvy's Canary Wharf offices in the heart of London's banking and media district, the scene was set in an area symbolic of regeneration and financial strength. Private music festivals are rare in this part of town.
Subjectively the experience was slightly surreal and possibly what a lucid dream episode of Mad Men might feel like. Imagine 15 bands turning up to play loud sets of music on stages in open plan offices, full of Ogilvy employees, perched merrily if not bemusedly in front of their large Mac monitors.
Add to this hundreds of guests wandering from office to office, audio visual crews and equipment, food, drink, live Internet streaming, a cast of 30 music business exhibitors scattered at various locations, and you get the big picture. This took some planning and from my point of view as a guest it all appeared to run pretty smoothly. Although I hear neighbours Barclays bank complained about the noise.That’s impressive!
No doubt the uniqueness of the experience was carefully factored into Ogilvy's planning. The flair of the team to initiate such an occasion shows serious commitment to their vision of connecting brands with music. As the David Ogilvy quote high on one of the lobby walls states boldly:
"Look for people who aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine"
The Morning Talks
The first half of the day was devoted to a series of talks from a range of music industry figures. The 9th floor conference room with it's lofty views over the East End, carpeted in the agency's signature colour red, soon became full and there was a buzz of anticipation in the air.
Here are some of the key issues that were expanded upon with links to further information. I've grouped the 'messages' under general headings and the order in which they are listed flows chronologically to give some sense of timing. A complete list of speakers is available at the Lab Day LIVE website.
You can also view an online version of Julian Treasure’s opening address on: The 4 ways sound affects us
- Marketing agencies are desperate for engagement and the music industry is desperate for revenue (sales have dropped)
- Generally music is a universal resource
- There is huge growth in the semi-pro content creation market
- It’s important to create communities that allow consumers to participate and connect with the brand
- Advertisers can look to collaborations to drive consumer behaviour
- Songs can be used as ‘media channels’ to capture consumer engagement
- Record companies can look to break bands via advertisers
- A desired shift to “Stepping back from celebrity and into the song”
- Digital content curation is producing valuable collections that can engage fans
- Brands need to create more ‘experience’ in order for consumers to remember the brand association to particular events and products
- brands should make innovative use of technology systems for live events (text messaging, geolocation, etc.)
- Brands can control engagement by creating their own events
Content Creation & Marketing Campaigns
- Brands need to enter the space in a credible way to win the respect of the music audience
- Create content such as webisodes that feature musicians and musical collaborations
- Content can be distributed via popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
- Commitment is required from brands and bands to build momentum
- Brands can stage on-location events in unique, meaningful, sometimes secret locations
- Generating brand content creates a ‘hook’ to help book more established artists
- Brands can make genuine unconditional offers of products to help a band’s career
Music Industry State of Play
- UK music industry revenues fell by 4.8 percent to £3.8bn in 2010, down £189m.
- The music industry needs more supply
- Festivals are driving live music more than any other venue type (up by 20%), with increasing capacity and ticket prices
- UK is outperforming USA in music exports by a factor of 3
- Sync income has grown by 10% since 2008
- Consumers now spend more money on games than music
- Albums can be used as a promotional tool to sell games
- Bands may be developed primarily to promote brands and exist only because of the brand
- Tourism is a big potential area of revenue (Air flights, package deals, events)
- Music can be treated as a service and used to sell products
- Last.fm has ‘scrobbled’ 57 billion pieces of musical data
- Data is the currency and the audience expect their data to come back to them
- Think about the audience needs
- Super-fans and artists create an identity together
- Use crowdsourcing to build engagement
- Let the fans and bands take control
- Find an artist/community and see what their metrics reveal, in terms of marketing products
- Immersive soundscaping can be used to change crowd behaviour
- SoundCloud becoming more engaged with artist enterprise
- Art concepts can be used on products
- Artists still need support like record labels used to
- Music Industry asks brands: Embrace us
- Music industry has changed beyond all recognition
- WMG are focused on developing serious artists careers, long term
- Synchronisation is growing, labels and publishers have put in a lot of energy
- WMG want to integrate brands into the music industry, looking for partners
- Music rights difficult to navigate, previous price points were incorrect
- Creative process can be supplied by labels working directly with agencies at the creative level
- Spotify says you need two things a)The Content (millions of songs) b) Good user experience (i.e. Apple)
- Brands/music needs to be everywhere in order to be relevant to consumers (portable devices, appliances, cars, etc)
- You have to be better than piracy, hence freemium model
- You can only make music social if you have a free tier
- Pinpoint music for campaigns based on demographics
- Analyze from top down; Social engagement to personal engagement
- 3 methods: Crowdsourcing individual reviews, surveying social interactions, identifying and testing top genres
- Track highest volume of conversation
- Socialization more important in Germany, hence digital landscape important to understand
- Electronic music interaction is high in Germany
- Search engines required to find and license music
- Use systems to find out what resonates most
- Consensual contracts: Brands beware of jumping ship from one creator to another, the music business can track you
- Minimum cost of copyright infringement £50,000 (cost of license)
- You need a consistent branding strategy that enables consumer understanding when you bend the rules
- Understand the context and how music is used in different ways from say, apps to live events
- The brevity of a sonic signature is crucial e.g. at the top of an ad before people decide to skip
- Brand and sound ‘fit’ is vital
- When music ‘fits’, brand propensity to buy goes up by around 25%
- Music in ads can change people’s purchasing behaviour e.g. from French wine to German Wine
- It takes about 2 years for the brand sound to be understood by the consumer
- In 5 years time sound will be recognised as a major part of the marketing investment
- Total business-to-business licensing revenues from PRS for Music, PPL and activities such as sync licensing and artist endorsement grew 2.2%
- Advertising and sponsorship (including live music sponsorship, event creation, artist endorsement, digital, TV and advertising support) grew 4.2% on 2009 to £94m
There are some live audio recordings over at Felt Music on Awdio from acts Digitonal, Kidda, and Wolf Gang. You can also check out the video wall to see what some of the artists had to say about Lab Day. During performances the live stream received 15,000 hits from 86 countries. Live video footage of artists taken from all three stages is available to stream via the Lab Day website (link at top of post).
- Advertising, YouTube and 12 videos to prove the experience - 12 YouTube videos, showing how different brands chose to approach their audience.
- NYT - With Studio Space, Musicians Get Sneakers - Article about Converse supplying musicians with free studio time in Brooklyn.
- Putting the Metrics into Music - Examines how to ensure that music becomes a brand asset not a liability.
- Sound Advice at Ogilvy’s Lab Music Day Live - A blog post about the event from Alex Ririe - Coley Porter Bell.
- What Every CMO Should Know About Music - On defining and implementing the ‘sound’ of a brand
Clem Leek is a musician, composer and sound artist based in the UK. He creates modern classical ambient music which has been released on several independent labels.
Clem's works are subtle and dreamlike, using pianos, guitars, ethereal pads, field recordings, and other solo instruments. His SoundCloud stream features beautifully balanced compositions that perfectly compliment those special moments of solitude and creative isolation. These tracks will take you to a calm place and leave you floating in suspended animation.
A haunting composition played to perfection by Italian artist Sergio Altamura, guitar and loop machine. From his first solo album "Blu" produced by William Ackerman in 2004, available at http://www.candyrat.com
More info can be found via his website: http://www.sergioaltamura.com/ and his Facebook community page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sergio-Altamura/47899619071
"Passenger" is a 28 minute audiovisual work created by musician Julien Mier and VJ Daan Kars. Featuring vocals by Zefora, with violin and contrabass recordings by Myrthe van de Weetering (see website for links to all artists).
Passenger tells the story of the liquid matter transforming into the physical in which humanity is able to manifest itself. As time passes by the physical is bound to disintegrate. We are all passengers in time.
The piece glides seamlessly through nine compositions starting gently and progressing rhythmically as scenes shift between organic natural environments and man-made ones. The effect is to transport you as a passenger through discreet moments of natural calm and bursts of urban motion. Shimmering windows of fragmented worldly images slide across the surface of a constantly reconstructing musical undercurrent. The fluid themes, punctuated by electronic pulses and pauses, form into recognisable patterns and momentary pools of clarity, that are quickly carried away again in the creative stream.
This is the first release on the new Born Digital netlabel, which is part of the Born Digital electronic art assembly and production house based in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Complete free download available from the Internet Archive under CC license.
Via Invisible Agent
Max Lewis and Mirza Rami formed the band in 2006 and have gone on to create several albums/EPs of beautifully crafted ambient/trip-hop music.
The duo have started a new project called In The Empire Of Builders:
The sole purpose of this project/organization will be to raise money through various programs for groups and individuals in need of aid (financial or otherwise)... Our first fundraising campaign is called MUSIC AGAINST HUNGER, with the goal of raising $10,000 through various music events and projects.
For ways to participate and learn more please read.
Arms and Sleepers on Spotify.
This 'Split LP' is a five track, instrumental post-rock release from Australian bands Sleepmakeswaves (Sydney) and Tangled Thoughts of Leaving (Perth).
'Keep Your Splendid Silent Sun' 06:19 - Sleepmakeswaves
'We Sing The Body Electric' 05:23 - Sleepmakeswaves
'This Is How We Remember (Secret Robot)' 06:49 - Sleepmakeswaves
'A Vexing Predicament' 03:22 - Tangled Thoughts of Leaving
'The World Is A Deaf Machine' 15:13 - Tangled Thoughts of Leaving
Although both bands are musically quite different the respective recordings are nicely balanced and complementary. Each offering anthemic and emotive excursions into experimental rock landscapes, with gutsy guitars churning out crunching metal mantras over driving drum and bass rhythms. Epic themes are entwined with more delicate piano and guitar melodies, ranging through ethereal ambient spaces, jazz inspired improvisations and dynamic freeform passages exploding with tribal energies. The track titles are interesting and evocative too.