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Brand as media – as record company and software developer

May 17, 2008

Smart brands are starting to look at new ways of reaching their consumer base by moving into different media.

Here are a couple of interesting recent examples.

Bacardi Signs Groove Armada

Back in March, Bacardi signed GA when their contract with their record company expired. The band will record music for the brand and play at a number of live events.


Ikea as Game Software

If people are spending more time on computers screens, than TV screens brands need to find a way to be there. Here’s an appropriate solution from Ikea.

Ikeas's Expansion Pack for The Sims

The idea that brands are media is an obvious one, the challenge is how to do this in a powerful and interesting way.

Thinking about the variety of different content you can create is an obvious place to start. If that content can add value and provide interest for consumers like for Ikea in the gaming situation it makes sense.

In the case of Bacardi, it’s a little different, here the brand is playing the role of talent curator by using external content. This model has a ton of risk associated with it because brands aren’t experts in talent spotting. For many branding experts, the Bacardi:GA deal is interesting because its new, but one has to question the relevance of the band for the brand’s leading edge drinkers. Thinking about these type of deals in the future it might be smart for brands to look at two angles.

1. Gaining access to the major talent on an exclusive basis

2. Using the talent to work as curators and future talent spotters- For example, Bacardi could set up a small label for GA and encourage them to find new and emerging talent. Doing that would ensure a stream of fresh talent for the brand to use.

We are at the early stages of a big shift away from expected traditional media solutions and moving into a new era where anything is possible. We are likely to see more interesting announcements as brands take on more media-like behaviors.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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