From M&M's to Sonos, 5 New Music Marketers With Attention-Grabbing Campaigns  

Zedd and Aloe Blacc
Diane Bondareff/Invision for M&M'S/AP Images

Zedd (left) and Aloe Blacc performed their version of “Candyman” in New York in March to celebrate the 75th anniversary of M&M’s.

The $2 billion brand spend: Yes, that's what companies lay out every year in music as part of their marketing, with these five among the newest.

From newcomers to superstars, artists are reaching fans with help from deep-pocketed brand partners that are leveraging the power of music marketing. But beyond banks and ­beverages and other traditional sponsors, new music ­marketers are getting in the game as of late.

"A broader range of consumer brands are ­spending considerable money on music ­marketing because they must to tap into the ­culture," says Joshua Rabinowitz, ­executive vp/director of music at Grey Group. At the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (June 18-25), Rabinowitz is president of Entertainment Lions for Music, a new competition for music marketers.

Brands don't reveal the dollars behind their deals. But an estimated $2 billion in global revenue reaches the music industry from the ­branding ­business, including $1.4 billion in U.S. ­sponsorship spending in 2015, according to consultancy IEG.

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Coinciding with Cannes Lions, Billboard spotlights five new music marketers with ­attention-grabbing ­campaigns and initiatives.


Two teenagers on a couch lean in for a first kiss as M83's "Wait" plays quietly on the ­family's ­wireless Bose speaker system -- until Dad, ­discreetly looking in, remotely switches to the goofy "Skinnamarink" from children's act Sharon, Lois & Bram to break the mood. The ad is part of the Music Deserves Bose campaign, which aims to "break through the cluttered media landscape and emotionally connect with consumers," says Bose spokesman Joanne Berthiaume. The ­campaign has ­generated "significant levels of social ­engagement," she says, including 3.5 million YouTube views for that ­interrupted kiss.



Better known for pop stars waving from floats ­during its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, Macy's showcased rising web artists with the Summer Vibes digital festival on its own YouTube ­channel on June 2. Acts with a strong YouTube fan base were ­featured, including Todrick Hall, AJ Rafael, Macy Kate and the Gardiner Sisters. Kimberly Yarnell, vp digital strategy for Macy's, says the retailer ­contributed $1 for every festival view, up to $100,000, to the ­veterans support charity Got Your 6 and gained 680,000 total views on YouTube.



To mark the 75th anniversary of M&M's, the iconic chocolate brand released a remix of "Candyman," the No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for Sammy Davis Jr. in 1972, this time by Aloe Blacc and EDM artist-producer Zedd. "To date, there have been 110,000 downloads, 16 million streams and 19.7 million video views for the song and video," says M&M's brand director Tanya Berman. Blacc and Zedd debuted with their version at No. 14 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart in March.



Offer touring artists a refuge where they can relax, record, cook and even do their laundry while posting on social media. That idea is behind the Patch outposts set up for Sour Patch Kids in Austin, Brooklyn and Hollywood, which have drawn acts like Halsey and G-Eazy and driven a half billion media ­impressions, says Farrah Benzer at Mondelez International, the ­parent company of Sour Patch Kids. "Music ­contributes to the success of the brand."



For Apple Music's launch, Sonos studied the effect of listening to music. A 41-question ­survey of 30,000 people across eight countries was ­followed by measuring reactions of participants in 30 homes, says Lisa Lewis, senior manager of brand ­experience. Killer Mike, St. Vincent and The National's Matt Berninger appeared in "Music Makes It Home" ads about the study. And Apple Music registrations on Sonos were 18 times higher than previous launches.

This feature was originally published in the July 2 issue of Billboard.


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