From MIT: You Tube matters to Brands!

To drive the point of my last post home, I want to show you a few sentences (provided by Boards Magazine) spoken by Joshua Green, from MIT regarding You Tube and Brands.

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To view his entire speech at the 2009 BOARDS SUMMIT, you can view it HERE.

I found what he had to say fascinating, yet simple. Listen up brand stewards. Artists, licensing your music to a brand. DEMAND IT. Make it your creed.

Why YouTube Matters in Music Licensing

Thanksgiving weekend, in my house means ALOT of football. And gratefully so, as it gave me the chance to catch up on new commercials.

I decided to conduct a test from my Dad’s couch regarding the connection between Music Licensing in commercials and You Tube. After seeing a spot with music I thought could be licensed, I would go to You Tube and type in “BRAND NAME commercial” to see if the spot comes up.

Most times it does, but not by the brand itself, simply posted by a fan.

Let’s back it up for a minute and talk about a very important issue if you are going to license your music. GET AS MUCH PROMOTION OUT OF IT AS POSSIBLE! I am talking to the music owners as well as the Brands here. If you are a brand that runs national TV spots – you should have your own You Tube channel and be the first one to post your spot. Fans are great, but don’t rely on them, and why miss out on cross-pollination with fans or potential fans of that hard won (and possibly very expensive) track you just licensed?

This is a fundamental theory – ‘You want to license your music to gain exposure and sell records.’ RIGHT?

And Brands, you want as many eyeballs on your brand as possible – RIGHT?

So let’s start making some meaningful connections and make Music Licensing about more than a paycheck. Artists, Bands and Labels, don’t throw away the opportunity of a multi-million dollar ad campaign, this may be the chance that takes your band from obscurity to fame, and it CAN sell records – but you have to drive users and make it easy for them. In case you haven’t noticed…..You Tube is FREE.

When I owned a Music House I was always preaching the gospel of “let the consumer know what the music is by talking about the brand everywhere the fans of the Artist live.” 2 Years ago that was a tall order, today it’s as easy as YOU TUBE TAGGING.

When you upload a video to You Tube you get the opportunity to add a DESCRIPTION and TAGS. Both are golden free opportunities to get your name (brand AND artist) to pop up in the top five when someone Google’s you.

Some examples:

#1) Cadillac 2010 SRX Ad – Song: Phoenix, 1901. The spot was posted on the Cadillac Channel – well done. Take a look at the tagging in the right column (click on MORE INFO to see the TAGS). Nothing about the artist.  Now click on the link to the song I provided just above, it is the video on the Record Label’s site. Cadillac isn’t tagged here either.

By simply adding 11 free keystrokes on both sides and they would have had 60,000 + views cross pollinating from Cadillac to Phoenix and who knows how many from Phoenix to Cadillac. One video post for the song has over a Million hits.

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#3) PALM PIXI Ad Song: Passion Pit “Sleepyhead”.  Now this is a band that is HOT, no doubt they are looking to sell records, as they have not seen the pop radio success of Phoenix yet. Over 2MM hits on the French Kiss Record Label You Tube Channel for this song. Clearly it’s a hot song.  Palm, NO You Tube Channel! Over 60,000 views from multiple postings of this spot – and in every one – the song is mentioned in the comment section. Big opportunity missed for Palm on this one.  I did notice one posting where the fan created a link to the commercial, and then posted the commercial with a link to the spot. That’s a new feature. But again – that’s relying on a fan.

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By working with the brand to create more connection, you can drive users to buying the record. Go to iTunes and look up the record. Do you see Palm Pixi mentioned? NOT ONCE. Free connections. You Tube Tagging could have changed this situation in less than 3 minutes.

#4) JC PENNEY Ad Song: Rosi Golan and Human “Follow the Arrow.” The brand posted the track on their channel, but not mention of Rosi Golan or Human in the tags. Then you find Rosi Golan’s Channel, and she has posted the same ad on her channel and gotten 5 TIMES more hits! JC Penney – you missed out on that one.

JC Penney’s Post

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Now lets talk about someone that did it right.

#3) DAYS INN Ad Song: Jess Penner “Here Comes the Sunshine”. If you Google DAYS INN COMMERICAL, this post is right at the top. Days Inn has a You Tube Channel and they have tagged the Artist Jess Penner (might I add they even gave Production credits – kudos on that one).  They made her track available on the website for free and she is for sale on iTunes. Total connectivity.

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Now Jess Penner didn’t have the groundswell to begin with that Phoenix and Passion Pit did, but it shows you how easy it is to connect the dots.

As Artists, ASK the brands if they are posting the spot on You Tube when they license your spot. You have the right. As Brands, why not ride the wave of connection if you are choosing to license music?

I look forward to the results.

Boards Summit 09 – Music Licensing and Negotiations MASTER CLASS

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On Tuesday, Oct. 27th I will join the ranks of Advertising Industry experts and colleagues at the Boards Summit in New York City.

I will be giving one of several MASTER CLASS talks relating to each person’s expertise; mine, naturally, is Music Licensing and Negotiations.

In my 15 years in advertising I have been to countless conferences, but I can say that already, this one feels different. The state of Advertising as we know it is in a period of great renaissance. People’s roles are changing, new skills are becoming required, and most importantly accountability to the brands we represent is not only asked for, but demanded.

My Master Class is meant to educate those working in the Advertising Production community about a world that can be very convoluted: Synchronization Music Licensing.

Agency Producers are the Grand Masters of the Circus. They balance 100 balls while running 200 miles an hour. It’s extraordinary to watch when it’s done well, and dizzying to be on the sidelines when it’s not done well. So Producers young and old, this class is for you. More information in a time where more is required of us all.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the CMJ Panel on Tuesdayion

Josh Rabinowitz, our panelist put together a great group for the panel. A big thanks to my fellow panelists, Peter Nashel, Visili Gavre, and Chris Langrill.

The room was packed and we had a very engaged audience.  Now more then ever it is clear that Sync Music Licensing is one of the most important sources of revenue and marketing a music company or Artist can have.

How music is chosen for an ad, is an unanswerable question, but how to get your music to the community, and professionals in the Film, TV and Ad community is not information that is easy to find.

Many of you asked me where you could get more information. For those of you who do not live in LA , or cannot make it to my class at UCLA Extension, standby. I have decided to take my “How to Get Your Music Licensed” book and create it into an online series that will be packed with the information you all seek. “How do I find Music Supervisors and how do I get my Music to them!”

Stop by this blog every now and again, or visit my YouTube channel: sarahgavigan for bi-weekly tips.

Thanks again to you all for coming out to CMJ and to the panel!

Speaking at CMJ – Tuesday Oct. 20th

I am headed to NY for CMJ. Admittedly it’s been a few years, but I am really looking forward to it. To kick it off I will be speaking on a panel – see info below…

Music and Advertising: A Subconscious Cognitive Impulse Explosion
The cognitive process happening when you visualize an advertisement coupled with music is powerful. It is proven through empirically tested heuristics that when these two components come together correctly, the outcome is VERY effective.  CMJ Badge-holder Opp: Submit your music here to be heard by ad executives and possibly be included for discussion during this panel.

So if you are attending the event – give me a shout out, there is a lot to learn here about how Music Producers such as myself and Josh Rabinowitz, the moderator of the panel and the Director of Music at Grey Advertising. This man has made A LOT of music for A LOT of commercials.

So after the formal sitting and note taking we will all head out to the clubs to get pushed,  sweat before we freeze outside (can you tell I’m from LA) and hear some great music. Let me know if there is a band I should not miss!

The New Rockstar Philosophy grabs some info on Music Licensing

One of my new favorite blog is The New Rockstar Philosophy written by Hoover and Voyno. They cover a myriad of topics related to the state of the music business. Each post has a perfect mix of snark and information, Just the way I like them.

A few days ago Hoover contacted me and asked if I would like to do a “blog interview”  on being a Music Supervisor and how to counsel anyone who wants to license music to Film/TV or Ads. Naturally I was thrilled.

Comments are rolling in. Can’t see enough of these! Stay tuned all…..more info to come with the book HOW TO GET YOUR MUSIC LICENSED in the Winter of 2010

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Check it out, and add TNRP to your blogroll!

Thanks guys!


Multiple use for Ads for Music – is it used enough? or even well?

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I got my New Music Tipsheet email this morning form Scott Perry. This had to be re-posted. His  point is solid and applies to so many different industries right now:

The other night, I’m heading to The Roxy when I see a big ol’ bus sign for the new Courntey Cox series ‘Cougar Town,’ airing Wednesdays this fall on ABC. And so, they’ve got this 8′ x 3′ closeup of CC’s face (yeah, they used to call her CC back when she was growing up in Alabama, so I’m told), and I’m thinking, “Wow, what a wasted opportunity — with a show title like ‘Cougar Town,’ they could’ve showed a vampy picture of Courtney, and left enough space for fans to take their picture next to her, and posted their pix onto Facebook or Flickr!”

Instead, what do we get? A head shot begging to magic marker a good old-fashioned “balls on the chin” on Courtney’s visage (don’t forget the eyepatch and the blackened teeth there, Picasso).

What I’m trying to illustrate is that these days nothing, and I mean nothing, should ever be created for single-use. With the viral capabilities of the web, every single piece created should be used and re-used to promote your product, from the album art to the t-shirt to the banner ad to the show itself.

This should be every manager’s most-often used question — “How else can we use this?”

Every single touch point for your artist should have a takeaway viral marketing aspect — single song streams should be embeddable, trackable; official pix & videos should have your URL in the bottom right; every show should have the band’s name in a backdrop or at least on the bass drum head; t-shirt designs should have the band’s name legible from a satellite, as well as have easter eggs hidden in the imagery.

As crass as it is, I’d have a kid dressed in Bowling 4 Soup’s “My Wena” (totally NSFW, btw) phallus costume, taking pictures at the merch booth with fans two hours before the show, and then letting the kids download the pix from the Bowling for Soup site in exchange for their email address!

Food for thought: The iPhone is the #1 camera used on Flickr; in 10 months, the iPhone will be the #1 camera used on YouTube. What are you doing to take advantage of this trend? You WANT your fans to take pictures & audio & video and pass it along to their friends. Not every show should be an aliens-and-confetti cannon extravaganza like the Flaming Lips, but give your fans something to talk about.

But speaking fan-to-fan, I’d be remiss in not saying this to EVERYBODY (I’ll admit, I’m just as guilty): you ain’t Scorsese, and this ain’t ‘The Last Waltz’. After the first two songs, quit taking pictures of you and your girlfriend in front of the stage. Put down the camera, pick up the beer, and just enjoy the freakin’ show, okay?

I love Scott’s Post for so many reasons. The word ARTIST in his post could be easily replaces with CLIENT and applied to advertising, but this is precisely where Music and Advertising are linked.  As creatives in the Music and Advertising business, we must think ahead, be more clever and not so myopic. “This is a TV ad,” or “this is only outdoor advertising” just wont cut it anymore.  There have been a few great examples lately. One I remember was a kiosk attatched to a bus stop for Target. You could plug your headphones into the wall to listen to John Legend’s new record. SMART.

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Another direct example of the Ad industry point of view would would be common acceptance for “this is only music for my ad.” Let’s face it, Agencies and by proxy, clients spend a lot of money on music, be it Original or Licensed;  you should get more out of it. But as any of us in the Commercial Production world know, that would take a lot of forethought that comes in direct connection with MEDIA, and that my friends, it a whole other posting.

The sooner the Ad biz takes cues form Scott’s post, the sooner they will be able to create more engaging ads and make thei clients money go further. It’s ain’t rocket science folks.

Everyone – check out Scott’s New Music Tipsheet, it is a staple in my information highway.

Thanks Scott!

SXSW Panel Picker is UP!!

So this year I thought I would take the Syllabus for my UCLA Class and offer it as a Workshop at SXSW. 12 weeks edited into 45 minutes.

SXSW has a “Panel Picker” that allows anyone to sign in and have a vote. Its a pretty cool system.

First off I want to say THANK YOU to my collegues who have logged in to vote and left comments as well. It means alot to me. No matter how trifle it may seems, to look back on 10 years of work, its an incredible feeling to that is it respected. I tip my hat.

If you would like to vote, for my panel or others, then simply log on here:

Here is the link to sign up:
Panel Picker Registration

Here is the link to my Workshop to comment and vote:
Get Your Music Licensed in a Commercial

Let me know if you plan to be at SXSW this year!

Pepsi Music & Crowdsourcing

Recently, I have been considering both sides of the debate on social media. Is it improving our lives or making us even more A.D.D.? I don’t know, but what I do SEE are communities forming, more rapidly than ever.

It is extraordinary to watch. I post question on Twitter and I get responses from people all over the world. Some of these people have become trusted filters (see The Long Tail by Chris Anderson) to me. I have been expanding and contracting my Twitter family, but this past week, I have added several companies.

One of them Pepsi. The actual handle is @PepsiMusic. Obviously I follow a lot of music related folks, and I was curious to see what @PepsiMusic had to say. Today they posted the following tweet:

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After I saw this I found myself smiling a very big smile. FINALLY a brand embracing the potential for Crowd Sourcing.

Go on…. ask the public what they think!!!

Now, from some perspectives this might put me out of a job as a Music Supervisor and Music/Brand Strategist, but it still thrills me. Market to me meaningfully corporate America, I BEG YOU. Let me first say, that in a brick and mortar, pre-internet world, this was very easy to do. Michael Jackson fit almost everyone’s ear buds, but today in a LONG TAIL world, the advertisers, marketers and brands have had a very hard time figuring out how to connect with the public. They might be missing a pretty big boat if they don’t get on board soon. See the name, look…it’s right there on the side; THE ARK.

Music is a naturally sticky marketing tool; the perfect “catch net” to draw new fans to a brand, but music is also highly subjective. Much like my last blog post, I must digress to the notion of the ad communities, “We know best” mentality. Another point to the matter; FACT – the majority of the music chosen to be in ads (tv, internet) is chosen based on the likes/dislikes of the people MAKING the commercial, not on the likes/dislikes of the people BUYING the product. I never understood why. Sorry, I just don’t.

Why don’t you want to choose music that you KNOW is geared towards your demographic? In a time where focus groups and demographics play an even heavier role in the life of an ad campaign, why isn’t the first criteria for a piece of licensed music on a spot the demo? Who likes this music? Who already listens to it, and will the fans of that Band be a potential new fan of our brand? Today I saw the first little sprout from @PepsiMusic. Arguably one of the biggest brands in the world, which historically would put them in the “last one to change” category. So lets watch together as Pepsi embraces the opinion of Twitter’ers around the world to tell them who they should broadcast on behalf of their brand.

Go forth, build communities, and then have the sense to LISTEN to them.

Who Actually Cares about the Ads You Make?

A few nights ago, as I was reading through my backed up RSS feeds,  I received an email from American Airlines; “Your friend Jennifer has asked that you watch this film!” The promotion was a 150 second film about the new “Flex Miles Program” for redeeming miles online. It was hideous visually. My 5 year old could have created it in Keynote. I actually rolled my eyes a few times, but I sat through the entire video and then went on to add my own “recommend this to a friend” in order to receive my OPPORTUNITY TO WIN A SHARE OF ONE MILLION MILES.

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A nebulous promise, but nonetheless I was set on completing the task no matter how bad this film looked.

In this day and age, who doesn’t want extra miles?

Upon completion of this promotion, I quickly shot off an email to my friend Jennifer thanking her for sending the email my way and lastly commenting on how terrible the ad was.  She agreed.

But was it terrible?

The thought brought me back to  a blog post from Jeff Goodby. As one of the many who “virtually” attended Cannes this year through the blogs and pictures of those who went, I have to say – my favorite Cannes yet. Mr.  Goodby’s post on WE ARE BECOMING IRRELEVANT AWARD CHASERS really stuck in my head.  Read this blog. To paraphrase, he bravely says, that many of the winners at Cannes are ads or campaigns that live only in obscurity to the population at large. Does that make it good advertising?  A quote:

“We’ve created a system that rewards work that is increasingly unknown to anyone outside the business. We have become connoisseurs of esoterica. And in the process, we’re becoming more about us, and less about changing the world.”

This train of thought sent me hunting for an email a friend and colleague who holds a very high post at a global Agency sent me:
“Check out this video the Agency just finished, it is the first Music Video for the Agency. It made #16 on Ad Critic.”

The video was great, and I applaud an Agency for branching out to new avenues of work and also for using the company’s creative talents to help Bands and Artists, but it was the Ad Critic comment that got me. Why does Ad Critic mean so much to our industry? What is more important to the overall success of  this music video; it’s rank on Ad Critic or aiming for critical mass on You Tube hits?

This was a great example of exactly what Jeff Goodby had so boldly stated. Advertising is defined (by Webster’s Dictionary) as: the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements. Then shouldn’t the success of an ad be judged on how many people it reached rather then industry accolades?

Let’s go back to the American Airlines online Ad. Very average visually, but it worked. Jennifer watched it, I watched it and my mom watched it. Mission accomplished.  By definition this was a GREAT ad, regardless of my aversion to the visuals.

“Our video made #16 on Ad Critic.” “How?” your client asked.
“We submitted it to Ad Critic and a bunch of other Ad people voted it forward.

(SFX – screeching of brakes)………….. lets try this again.

“Our video got over ONE MILLION hits on You Tube in the first week.” “How?” your client asked.
“We tapped into a whole new community for the Band online through an online viral strategy.”

I love great creative and a well-produced ad as much as anyone in our business, but more than that I have come to appreciate an ad that works. Mr. Goodby, I’m with you.

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