On August 3, DJ/producer A-Trak did what he does best at his label's recently opened Fool's Gold retail store in Brooklyn, New York. He was rocking the 40 kids crammed into the small space with tracks like Duck Sauce's "Big Bad Wolf" and Rogerseventytwo's disco house jam "Take Me Higher" (see videos below). Amidst all the dancers, were cameras and live-streaming equipment from the event's sponsor, G-Technology, for their new external storage device, G-Connect.
People Crammed into the Fool's Gold store for A-Trak's Live Set - August 3 (Photo: Emmanuelle Saliba)
"Tight Space" is a three-part live series that kicked off with a DJ set by Dave 1 - half of the electrofunk duo Chromeo- on July 20 and will close with Atlanta native Treasure Fingers on August 17. These shows, which are part of a larger streaming web series, are the result of a partnership between the independent dance label Fool's Gold and G-Technology, a premium external data storage device by Hitachi.
A-Trak, co-founder of Fool's Gold Records, told Billboard.biz that he has used G-Drives in the past and, as satisfied customers, didn't hesitate to collaborate with the company. "DJs and musicians store files every day -- we're always dealing with file management," A-Trak said. "When you add to that G-Connect's wireless capabilities, it's a very attractive product."
The newest product, G-Connect is a wireless storage solution for the iPad and iPhone -- a 500Gb hardrive that allows users to put all their music and content in one location and stream from it. It supports up to five SD or three HD video streams simultaneously. Additionally, G-Connect lets you share content and Internet access with five or more friends.
Seeking the right audience for their product, G-Technology turned to the Flavor Group Creative Agency, a firm committed to "bridging digital and physical," according to founder and CEO Prem Kumta.
In the past, Flavor Group has designed campaigns for companies such as Red Bull, Scion and Ubisoft. They recently finished a worldwide campaign for SanDisk with Tiesto which included exclusive tracks consumer received upon a product purchase.
"We integrate music partnerships with social media interactions with live events," Kumta explained. "That is our holy grail of modern marketing." And that's exactly what Flavor Group intended for G-Connect with its sponsoring of live performance by popular dance music artists. The campaign requires fans to "like" the G-Technology Facebook page to gain access to the exclusive live stream (Facebook.com/GTechnology).
Flavor Group often tends to work with electronic dance artists and did so even before the official launch of their company in 2004. Kumta said that approach works for them both as dance-music fans and as business people.
"From a brand side, it's less about a genre and more about what's valid for the brand. [Dance music] is valid in general when you're talking about a young consumer demographic from teenager to 30," Kumta said. "It's a numbers game, I think there are 200 million people involved with this culture. On a global scale it's reached a certain height of activity. It's an undeniable thing."
"We are incorporating the music into the product with the campaign and with compelling content which will motivate people to get involved and 'like' the page" says Kumta. In a matter of three weeks, the G-Tech Facebook page went from having approximately 1,100 likes to 13,000. "If you have a brand that's trying to reach the target, you need to know how to effectively engage a consumer at the right event," says Kumta.
The "Tight Space" live-streaming series brings the Fool's Gold audience to G-Technology's page, giving the brand a push. "Fool's Gold has always kept a very high standard of quality, so when we align ourselves with a brand like this, it means we vouch for them," A-Trak says.
And what is Fool's Gold getting from this alliance? "We're getting exposure through their channels - and, as you can imagine, there's some financial compensation involved too," he says. "On a broader level, I think it looks good for us to be working with a respected brand like G-Technology."
The DJ also emphasized the fact that Flavor Group "not only respects Fool's Gold integrity, but they understand that it's a key part of what we bring to the table and why we've been able to build a loyal following with our fans." The responses to the collaboration have been positive so far. "We haven't seen any sellout accusations or any puzzled reactions of any kind," explains A-Trak.
A-Trak Spinning at the Fool's Gold Store for "Tight Space" (Photo: Emmanuelle Saliba)
In addition, this partnership between Fool's Gold and G-Technology demonstrates how changes in the record industry are opening up new sponsorship approaches and opportunities. "This collaboration is an example of where the record business is going," says A-Trak. "It's exciting to be a part of the change."
Since music sales are no longer the only source of revenue, many artists are more concerned about developing their brand. For Kumta as well, these sorts of collaborations are the future of the industry.
"As time goes on, less and less people are going to buy music. Music is a function to build their brand, which is becoming a more complicated model of touring, merchandising, partnerships and endorsement deals. It's going to change significantly."
The Fool's Gold store's next live series features Treasure Fingers and is set for this Wednesday August 17 at 4 p.m. E.T.