Coca-Cola's best known contribution to music may be "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" (In Perfect Harmony)," but it now wants to be known for helping consumers find new music. As exclusively announced in this week's Billboard magazine, the company has partnered with music licensing website Music Dealers to discover and license new talent from artists around the world. Already underway is a promotion with Taio Cruz in which three Music Dealers artists will be chosen by Cruz to remix for his song, "Higher."
Given Coca-Cola's global reach and brand equity, the company's involvement in music can mean big opportunities for musicians. Coca-Cola is consistently ranked one of the world's top brands. It was named last year's top brand in Interbrand's "Best Global Brands 2010" report, although it fell from 3rd to 16th in the latest Brand Finance list of top global brands. And with nearly 33 million Facebook followers, Coca-Cola has serious social media power, too.
The lone case study Music Dealers and Coca-Cola currently offer is the Swedish band You Say France & I Whistle. Its song "Can You Feel It" was recorded by British band One Night Only for use in a global ad campaign. The band claims Coca-Cola's use of the song has allowed it to start its own record label, hire a publicist and book a ten-city European tour.
Coca-Cola is hardly a novice at using music in innovative ways. Earlier this year, Maroon 5 kicked off the new "Coca-Cola Music" program that aims to give teens a view of artists' creative process. The band's 24-hour session - an original song from start to finish - was broadcast at the Coca-Cola website. Videos from that session are currently available online. Two years ago, the company's "Open Happiness" campaign used a commissioned single created by Cee-Lo Green, Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy, Brendon Urie from Panic at the Disco, Travis McCoy from Gym Class Heroes and newcomer Janelle Monae. And the 1971 commercial that used "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)" sent the song to #1 hit in the UK and #7 in the US.
The partnership is actually an investment in Music Dealers. Coca-Cola has a spending commitment with Music Dealers and will receive shares in the company as it spends, according to Music Dealer spokesperson Jennifer Amdur Spitz.