Maroon 5‘s manager Jordan Feldstein revealed Thursday (Nov. 6) at the Billboard and Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Music Conference that the band’s song “Sugar” is set to be featured in a new Nissan campaign Nov. 18.
In the past 18 months, Maroon 5 has worked with three different car brands. Those include Honda on the Civic Tour last year, Kia on a campaign with the single “Animals” that premiered during the MTV Video Music Awards earlier this year, and frontman Adam Levine is part of the Nissan activation through The Voice and now will be featured in this newest ad. This is a unique benefit allowed by Levine’s role on The Voice, avoiding issues of exclusivity to any company.
“We just want to see Maroon in every car commercial,” joked Feldstein, when asked whether fans would see Maroon 5 dancing like the computer-generated hamsters do in recent Kia commercials. “As long as that happens, we’ll dance any way they want.”
Billboard senior correspondent Andrew Hampp, who was moderating the What Cars Mean to Music panel, asked Feldstein what value car brands have had for his band, and the manager said they rely on brands across the board for exposing the music, different streams of income and other promotional opportunities.
He said that what was key to the Kia campaign, which will also be the case for the upcoming partnership with Nissan, was that they took a song before it went to radio and offered support early that helped catapult the track that’s now a “smash.” Feldstein expects similar success for “Sugar,” from the album V, which was released earlier this year.
Feldstein continued on the importance of working with brands to get his band and their music out there, saying, “We’re all fighting for visibility all the time, and in the music marketplace, it’s just a constant glut of records, and how do you stand out? Even for a band like Maroon 5 and even more so for a developing act or an act that’s re-creating themselves, it’s still to me TV, and The Voice is the best example of this in terms if re-creating the Maroon 5 brand. It’s just essential. Luckily, we’ve had some really good partners like the Kia guys who came up with something creative and really featured the song, and Nissan the same.
“To me, it’s especially getting the song out before we go to radio. To create some familiarity with the song before we go to radio is essential. Less so on the tail end.”
In the case of the “Animal” sync with Kia, Colin Jeffery, chief creative officer, David & Goliath, the ad agency behind the Kia campaigns, said they received that song before it was even finished — a benefit of establishing close, longstanding relationships with publishers and major labels’ senior executives.
“We try really, really hard to find something that makes sense for both us and the act. That’s a very important thing to me personally is the integrity of the music and the acts,” Jeffery said. “I can’t stand seeing an amazing piece of music just slapped on a sh–ty commercial. That makes me cringe. … It needs to be mutually beneficial so the act wins, and the brand also wins.”
The new campaign with Nissan was a natural choice, Feldstein said, “with them being the sponsor of The Voice. And I think they made a very smart move because, no disrespect, Kia had never used any of the mentors/coaches actually as part of the promotion of the car on The Voice. So I think Nissan made a good choice — not just by choosing Adam, obviously, but by actually incorporating one of the coaches as part of the campaign.”