Marketers spent close to $1.2 billion on music sponsorship alone in 2012, and that’s not even counting the hundreds of millions that went into commercials featuring current songs that helped many artists impact the Billboard charts. As artists, labels, publishers and tour promoters alike continue to turn to the advertising community to help make up for budget and marketing gaps, here’s a look at 10 brands that will be among the first on everyone’s speed dial over the next 12 months.
As Frank Cooper, Pepsi’s chief marketing officer of global beverages, told Billboard.biz earlier this week, the soda giant is prepping a multi-year creative partnership with Beyonce worth $50 million that will be at the center of an even bigger music strategy for 2013. Among the brand’s plans are building a label-like service similar to Mountain Dew’s Green Label Sound and amplified music efforts around its sponsorship of the Grammys, NFL and “The X Factor.”
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Having spent the bulk of 2012’s music strategy on its sponsorships of “American Idol” and the Olympics, Coke is turning to its recent $10 million investment in Spotify to guide its strategy for 2013. At the top of that list: a new series of location-based music apps, tentatively titled “PlaceLists,” that the brand already commissioned a network of New York hackers to develop last spring.
The cosmetics brand finished the year with a trio of major music endorsements, adding Pink, Janelle Monae and EDM sister duo Nervo to a roster that also includes Queen Latifah and Taylor Swift. Look for big TV looks for Monae and Nervo at the top of the year, and a possible tour extension for Pink when her Truth About Love tour takes off this spring.
The country’s largest department store marketer is also looking to become its most powerful when it comes to artist relationships. Not only are Mariah Carey, Taylor Swift and Diddy among its many celebrity merchandise partners (and stars of its TV ads), but a new focus on emerging artists helped anoint twin-sister duo Megan & Liz the winners of the IHeartRadio Rising Star competition, sponsored by Macy’s. Look for Macy’s to do something similar in a new strategic partnership with Myspace, which will relaunch in mid-January.
The year’s most confusing rebrand aside, the new name of Kraft-Nabisco’s packaged food unit represents strong buying power and some big brands, ranging form Oreo to Planters to Trident to Oscar Meyer. At the top of the company’s list for 2013? A sponsorship of One Direction’s 2013 World Tour.
Having kicked off 2012 with new creative director Will.i.am, look for Intel to look for new and innovative ways to showcase its technology through music, from its ongoing global events series with Vice, The Creators Project, to a new jogging app with singer Imogen Heap where music reacts to the pace of your run in real-time.
After spending some $600 million marketing its Galaxy products in 2012, Samsung will continue to seek artist and media partnerships using music to amplify its “Next Big Thing” platform and Samsung Music Hub in 2013.
Perennially one of the most active brands in music across any category, Chevrolet set the bar high for music in the Super Bowl last year when a spot starring rockers Ok Go doubled as a launchpad for fun.’s “We Are Young.” Look for the automaker to try and top itself during the big game in 2013 as well as continue a sponsorship strategy that has included stops at South by Southwest and our own Billboard Music Awards.
With its Rubber Tracks studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, hosting over 400 artists in its 18-month lifespan thus far, Converse has quickly established itself as one of music’s most sustainable brands. This summer, CMO Geoff Cottrill helped artists like Nas, Santigold, Blur, Paul Weller, Spiritualized and Plan B play intimate gigs in London when other venues couldn’t take them due to the Olympics. With Rubber Tracks scheduled to do pop-up studios around the country in 2013 as well as continue as presenting sponsor of the Fader Fort at SXSW and CMJ in 2013, expect Converse to be everywhere emerging artists go for the next 12 months.
The brand’s inaugural Made In America festival, headlined and curated by Jay-Z, was a success — the two-day event grossed $5 million in ticket sales with over 78,000 in attendance, according to Billboard BoxScore. Look for a second year to follow around the same Labor Day timeline as 2012’s event, plus an extension of Bud Light’s renewed deal with Pitbull and a deeper dive into digital music sponsorships.