Pop music as branding?

Author: Colin | Published: 21/9/10

I’d be interested to hear what you think about this:

Indeed, pop seems to do intuitively what brand managers work for years to learn. It creates vivid images, it distils profound ideas into single hits of feeling, it projects larger-than-life symbols and icons on to the screen of reality. The 4AD label, which turned 30 in August, remains the most successful example of branding I’ve ever seen. Though Steve Jobs may be a genius, even he would have struggled to shift Ultra Vivid Scene albums – but each Vaughan Oliver 4AD design worked to create a sense of shared purpose and trust that gave sometimes under-par records an aura of importance.

Pop music as branding? Shh … (The Guardian)

Interestingly, discussion about this at my workplace has seen participants (including myself!) sharply divided and in some cases tempers flaring. Personally, I find the retro-fitting of marketing concepts onto music distasteful and I don’t agree with the idea that this is appropriate in any wholesale way. Oh, and comparing Vaughan Oliver with Steve Jobs misses the point that Jobs is clearly involved at every step of the development process, not just the marketing – though it would be great to hear/see a group produced by Vaughan… Anyway, I’d be interested in what you think of the whole article.

PS Maybe we should be reading: Pop Brands: Branding, Popular Music, and Young People (Mediated Youth) by Nicholas Carah


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