Interscope has new videos coming from Eminem, Fergie, Gwen Stefani, Imagine Dragons and Phillip Phillips — and the company is going to let you know about them during the American Music Awards telecast on Sunday (Nov. 23), with the help of Chrysler Group LLC.
The label and automotive maker have teamed for a series of ads, dubbed Let’s Keep Driving Music. They’ll include four, 30-second spots featuring Eminem’s “Guts Over Fear” from the new Shady XV compilation tied to Chrysler’s Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat; Fergie’s new single “L.A. Love” for the Chrysler 200; Imagine Dragons’ “I Bet My Life” for the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon; and Phillips’ “Unpack Your Heart” for the Ram 1500 trucks. A 60-second spot will focus on Stefani’s “Spark The Fire” for the Fiat 500L and also feature some of the other artists in the campaign.
Interscope and Chrysler previously worked together on campaigns involving Eminem, Carly Rae Jepsen and others.
The spots will be snippets from the actual videos and shown just once, during the AMAs, and some will live online on Chrysler’s YouTube channel. The full videos, meanwhile, will be rolling out around the AMAs, according to Interscope Geffen A&M vice chairman Steve Berman.
“I don’t see these pieces as commercials,” Chrysler chief marketing officer Olivier Francois, a former music producer himself, tells Billboard. “I didn’t shoot them. Interscope did. These bands, these artists did. So it’s not born as a commercial. We’re trading equity; it’s a healthy win-win partnership using my media and the artistry of their songs. It’s not a classic commercial endorsement for us. Are we endorsing the artists? Maybe. Are the artists endorsing our brands? Maybe. It just think it’s valuable to our brands and to their music. It takes the box off of what good marketing is.”
The AMAs campaign came about during late October, according to Olivier, while Berman adds that it grew from general discussions about general projects between the label and Chrysler.
“We had started a dialogue about what we could do that was big,” Berman recalls. “We were looking around and this timing lined up with these releases for us. [Francois] presented the idea that he has a lot of (advertising) real estate around the American Music Awards, so let’s do something really big with that, and the idea developed from there.”
Francois adds that he wants the greatest impact from the spots to be made for the songs and videos, with a soft-sell psychographic benefit that aligns the Chrysler vehicles to the music.
“These are not commercials; these are pieces of a music video,” Francois explains. “I’m lending a hand to these (songs); I’m giving them 30 seconds of air time I secured during the AMAs, and they can run their little promotion for their music video. The objective is to get people to then go see the full music video.”
The artists and their managements certainly grasped the benefits of having Chrysler thump the drum for their upcoming product.
“We’re always excited about using our music for the right products and the right marketing opportunities,” says Eminem’s manager, Paul Rosenberg of Goliath Artists. “The fact we have an album coming out the day after the AMAs made the timing great. Then they brought us a really cool car, the Hellcat, which is the first thing that got us excited. They said, ‘Use it how you want to. Make the video you want to make and put together the piece that gives the same message with the car, and we’ll tell everybody your album is coming out.’ It was a great fit.”
Berman says Chrysler has also “committed tens of millions of dollars of media to support these projects” beyond the AMAs, with a different deal for each of the song.
“There might be a direct message for the Chrysler Fiat group but with the music being licensed, or a direct lift of the actual spot that you see on the AMAs. There’s all different versions of this that will be rolling out,” he says. “It’s not just about the integration; it’s an overall marketing campaign.”