Monday, May 07, 2007

The customer is not a moron. The customer is your wife.


Anyone of my bloggy readership read The Guardian?

Personally, I don't. But I heard about this story.

It's more interesting for me personally, considering it concerns somewhere where I used to work, and I heard discussions pertaining to this event.

Now, how do you feel about it?

You read The Guardian, and it's all doom and gloom. But is it branded content revealing itself to be cheap and underhanded, or is it just a good laugh that some silly sod has taken too seriously? Personally, I'm undecided.

There are many tracks that I like from ads, and (because I'm a big music fan) buy on the strength of an ad (yes, I'm a tremendous saddo). Artists like Jose Gonzalez (Sony Balls) and Oh Laura (new Saab ad) have received my hard earned wonga as a result of advertising. Indeed, using and choosing music is one of the most brilliant things about the business for me personally. The right track can be the missing link in the creative execution. Certainly helps sales.

I don't like the notion that it's underhanded, but then.. it was released by a record label called GUM (Saatchi's branded content arm), as this link indicates, and coincided with the launch of rebrand for Shockwaves, and indeed.. the fictional band had already been revealed many months prior.

In this web 2.0 age of transparency, surely the agency and client have done enough to reveal their intentions. But it still seems to leave a bad taste in the mouth. I just don't know.

All I do know (and no, I've not heard the final version of the song) is that if it has a good beat - I'll dance like a muppet to it - whether it has branded affiliations or not.

And part of me is pleased that Saatchis are regaining their 80s vigour; balls to the wall, and let's be contentious. More agencies should brand themselves in this way (though you could argue that Mother sort of have). They need to be careful not to alienate people - but sod it, no matter what you do, you'll alienate someone. But as Richard says, in his post, tread with caution.

And on the subject of good music; check out The Hold Steady. Fucking brilliant front man, and check out the single 'Stuck between Stations'. I'll be trying to see them in the UK.

What do you lot think?

1 comments:

matthew.furlong@gmail.com said...

Will,
I read Guardian Unlimited/Media quite a lot and came across this story.

Firstly while I think of it, I agree with the point about music being the missing link in creative execution- I don’t think the Sony 'Paint' ad affected me in the same way 'Balls' did the music just didn’t grab me; and I really like the new music on the T-Mobile ads…

Secondly in regards to the band/song, as I don’t think the product is very good, the whole exercise seems like a waste of time, and it does seem a little "underhanded" as you say. I'm not a fan, although as a stunt it certainly has got them some media coverage…

This isn’t the first time songs/bands have has an association with brands: "My Adidas" was released by Hip-hop/Rap group Run DMC back the 80's: http://arts.guardian.co.uk/pictures/image/0,8543,-10604888243,00.html .

In essence this song could have had the same effects as the Shockwaves song…but obviously it wasn’t quite so underhanded. I actually used to own a pair of Run DMC signature black Adidas trainers [I'm so hip hop!], when I was younger!

Ian Brown had/has a big sponsorship with Adidas too but he hasn’t released anything saying how much he loves the brand, thank goodness!

 
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