| 23 Jul 2024
MRMC 2014: Brands investing in music to connect with consumers

MUMBAI: The music ecosystem is at its peak and in recent times, it is thriving due to brands that have played an important role by investing in music. Names like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Harley Davidson, Bacardi, Smirnoff and many others have constantly been major sponsors in many live music events. By putting in their money in music, they have also built a relationship with consumers who love music, and now associate these brands with shows and different genres of music.

‘The Brand Story’, a session hosted on the second day of MixRadio Music Connects, saw brand representatives share their perspectives and reasons for spending capital to promote their brands through music. The panel included MTV & MTV Indies EVP Viacom 18 Media and Business Head - Aditya Swami, Bacardi India Pvt Ltd Marketing GM - Ali Imran and Vivanta by Taj Marketing GM - Manojeet Bhujabai, and was moderated by CNBC-TV18 Storyboard Editor - Anant Rangaswami.

Bhujabai began the session saying, “Music is one of the most primordial expressions and it represents our brand’s notion of style and spirit. There is a lot of content to invest in, and the challenge is to achieve differentiation. Brands are being recognised because of music, and the fans or consumers immediately connect and associate with the brand because of the music it sponsors.”

Vivanta by Taj has been promoting a number of live events in the form of properties like Barn Fest in Goa, Divas of Rock, Urban Folk and very recent Gibson Through The Lens. According to Bhujabai, the brand is trying to create an alter ego of sorts, offering an ‘alternative life’ image of them.

Similarly, ever since Bacardi entered the Indian market, it has sponsored and brought to the audience many live events. Now, it is the main sponsor of the biggest music festival in the country – Bacardi NH7 Weekender. Imran said, “Music reaches the human spirit like no other medium does. The brand stands for freedom of the human spirit; we found it and evolved with it.”

Swami added, “Today, the different spaces have allowed brands to speak through music. Brands want to create content, and without them, there would not be so much original content. Pepsi MTV Indies is a great platform for independent artistes and it has happened only because of Pepsi’s sponsorship. There are also shows like MTV Coke Studio and The Dewarists.”

“The traditional methods are changing and brands need to build love amongst consumers for their products. Music is the way to do that; to get the youth to love your brand,” he added.

The panel further discussed the impact social media has had on the presence of brands that are involved in music. More lifestyle brands are tapping into the music industry market and creating a huge presence for themselves. The panel also suggested a few interesting ideas for unlikely brands to find a way to invest in music.

Swami ended the session by saying, “There is a lot of interest in pop music, but people are not finding new ways to deliver it. There could be an interesting programming around the pop scene and it is a huge space to tap into.”