Festival Intelligence: Music to advertisers’ ears | M&M Global

Festival Intelligence: Music to advertisers’ ears

Since the dawn of the radio era, music and advertising have always gone hand in hand. On marketers’ continuous quest to connect with their customers on a deeper, more emotional level, music is injecting a new lease of life into brand campaigns to create more personal experiences.

The music industry is in the midst of a growth spurt, breaking new consumption records across the globe. According to IFPI, the global recorded music market grew by 8.1% in 2017, its third consecutive year of global growth, with revenues increasing in most markets and in eight of the global top 10 markets. Driven by fans engagement with streaming, digital revenues now account for more than half (54%) of the global recorded music market, increasing by 41.1%.

There’s one thing that music does best: it evokes an emotional response from the listener, whether positive or negative, happy or sad. And that powerful emotional trigger is resulting in music playing a much more strategic role for brands than simply trying to boost brand recall.

“Music is kind of the unsung hero of advertising,” says Daniel Jackson, CEO of London-based Cord Worldwide, a music licensing firm specialising in music in branding, and co-author of Hit Brands: How Music Builds Value for the World’s Smartest Brands. “It’s in the background and it’s kind of an afterthought, but when you get it right, it creates a halo of engagement that delivers way more than the budget for it should say.”

Looking specifically at the Latin American market, music has continued on an upward trajectory, with 17.7% growth in revenue – the highest level of growth globally. Growth was most notable in Peru (21.7%), Chile (14.3%), Colombia (10.5%) and Mexico (7.9%). The region’s largest market, Brazil, has returned to impressive growth (17.9%) after a 3.0% decline in 2016.

Music can be one of the most powerful tools in a marketers’ armoury. More and more, advertisers are using music to tap into key moments and passions on consumers’ sound journeys to connect in more meaningful ways. As media and technology continues to evolve in unexpected, exciting ways, one thing is for certain: personalisation is the future. 

Speaking at the Festival of Media LatAm 2018, Danielle Lee, Global Head of Partner Solutions at Spotify, said: “Music is a mirror – it uniquely reflects who we are, what we’re doing and how we’re feeling. And it’s personal. It gives us the opportunity to connect in these real-time moments. You’re not posting or Snapping about these things, you’re just using music to soundtrack your life and amplify moments, big and small. What you listen to is connected to how you’re feeling there and then.”

Looking at the Festival of Media LatAm 2018 Awards shortlist, 12% of campaigns had a strong focus on leveraging the power music. The food and beverage category represented more than half of these entries, followed by FMCG and automotive. Mexico and Brazil were the top performing markets, with two campaigns each, while Uruguay, Puerto Rico and Argentina each had one. Of these campaigns, one went on to win Gold, two Silver and one Bronze accolade.

In the FOMLA campaigns we explored for this piece, content, digital and social media proved to be the biggest drivers of success in this area, creating a memorable experience for consumers across a range of tactics and techniques: from influencers to competitions, crowd sourced content, branded music videos and entertainment, partnerships with artists and beyond.

But the real value is in the data that comes from the rise in digital music, which is proving to be a game changer in enabling brands to respond to how people relate to music. If consumers can trust a brand to help them find or discover new content, that goes beyond loyalty into brand advocacy. Spotify and YouTube were leading partners in the majority of these campaigns, with further examples from Shazam, MTV and local radio stations to help amplify the brand content.

Finding the right match for your brand and your audience can prompt much more than just consumer interest and engagement. Effective music placement in advertising goes beyond just adding a popular soundtrack onto a TV ad. The real value in music for advertising comes from creating a unique content experience like no other; and one that taps into consumer passions.

“Music allows you to connect on a personal 1:1 level,” adds Lee. “I would challenge you to reimagine how your brand can tap into moods, mindsets and passions. How you can really extend the experience to create a deep personal connection, respect where they are and give them an experience they won’t soon forget.”

We put the spotlight on two Festival of Media LatAm Awards 2018 winning campaigns, which highlight this trend:

BesoFermi by CloseUp | CloseUp (Unilever) | Reprise | Uruguay

Shortlisted for: Best Use of Content (SILVER WINNER), Best Use of Digital Platforms, Best Influencer Campaign


Nothing can replace the intensity of physical closeness, but the closer you are, the less confident you feel. In moments like these, CloseUp gives you that much needed boost to turn physical attraction into action with a kiss. In 2017, CloseUp was reintroduced to the Uruguayan market using emotional and disruptive messages like #BesáMás (#KissMore) and #Acercate (#GetCloser).

Taking into account that music, entertainment and on-demand content are key for millennials, Reprise decided to associate the brand with Rombai, one of the most influential and successful cumbia pop bands in the South Cone region. Rumors of a relationship between Fernando Vázquez and Emilia Mernes, the band’s vocalists, were very common, but they had never gone public about this. It checked on their fan communities, and verified that these rumors, coupled with the acting they had developed on their posts had a huge potential that could be used by brands. It’s in this context that CloseUp joins the scene, posing a challenge that would make Fer and Emi’s long awaited first kiss a reality.

As a result of this action, the brand got the attention it needed from a significant part of this millennial target, emerging as the facilitator that made this kiss possible, something the band’s fan clubs couldn’t make happen for more than a year. Such a special moment deserved its very own coverage, so it was live streamed on social media networks, stretching the limits of real time formats, the best way to get close and impact a millennial target. The campaign was developed in several stages and approached through different touchpoints: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, YouTube and Programmatic.

Excella Gold Short Audi-Musical Stories in Spotify | Excella Gold (Nestle) | Spotify | Mindshare | Mexico

Shortlisted for: Best Use of Content (BRONZE WINNER)


Although Excella Gold has been in the Mexican market for some time and has always been a premium powder milk product, Nestlé decided last year to improve its formula and re-launch the brand via a campaign communicating the benefits of its new nutrients in babies early development. Music and sounds play a key factor in kids development, so why not take advantage of this and create a unique experience for mothers and babies?

Spotify discussed with the client creating musical stories and content, using its targeting capabilities to reach mothers. It reached out to specialists and doctors and with their help was able to create copies for short stories designed specifically to develop movement, communication skills and creativity. It produced 12 audio stories and created a branded profile where users were directed throughout targeted media formats.

It had two formats running in mobile: Audio and Sponsored Sessions. Audio ads were served between songs during active sessions, ensuring that Excella Gold achieved 100% SOV. With Sponsored Sessions, Excella Gold became a gateway to an enhanced streaming experience by offering its audience the opportunity to unlock 30 minutes of uninterrupted listening in exchange for watching the brand’s video.

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