When Americans watch the snowy, rosy-cheeked visuals of Target’s holiday TV campaign, they’ll be hearing the music of British electronic duo Goldfrapp, Billboard has learned. It’s the latest and greatest in the cult act’s long string of licensing coups, which span two albums (2003’s “Black Cherry” and this year’s “Supernature”) and include big names like Verizon, Diet Coke, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The OC.”
And the train’s not showing any sign of slowing down. “With some pitching and pushing, all of the songs on ‘Supernature’ have what it takes,” says Cynthia Sexton, EMI Music Marketing senior VP of marketing and licensing. “To the tune of a lot of money.”
In today’s changing marketplace, Goldfrapp is helping redefine the prototype of success, using licensing wins to drive buzz, sales and radio play, rather than vice versa. “Our strategic goal [with “Supernature”] was to proactively expand the licensing support from the start, [using it] as traditional marketing plans use radio airplay to garner mainstream exposure,” Mute director of marketing Nicole Blonder says.
The campaign is Target’s “biggest of the year,” according to Bruce Kirkland, president of Tsunami Entertainment, who worked on the deal for the band. It consists of six spots, five featuring the dreamy “Fly Me Away” and one with the funkier “Number One,” both off “Supernature.”
Goldfrapp — producer Will Gregory and singer/songwriter frontwoman Alison Goldfrapp — worked with the Target marketing department and ad agency PMH to create customized “remixes” for each spot, highlighting different elements of the original or adding wintry touches like bells or chimes. The spots, directed by Dutch designer Tord Boontje, are all brisk, bright and typically Target, featuring scenes of moonlit forest banquets, party hosts serving from rotating star-shaped tables and cherubic children chilling out with snow-white owls.
Consumers will be able to identify Goldfrapp on Target’s Web site, and buy “Supernature” with two clicks. Mute is also taking “Fly Me Away” to radio in different formats. “We have some programmers coming to the table,” Blonder says, but adds, “we’re on track to achieve our sales goals without major support from commercial radio.”