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Self-Help Live… the new rock and roll?

Usually the chattering, excited and snaking queue outside Islington’s Union Chapel are waiting in anticipation for a one off performance by a favourite band. Having been to numerous showcases there over the years, I love the dappled light through the stained glass and soft reverberation of the lofty church ceiling. It’s the perfect venue to experience bands like Elbow or even REM many moons ago.

This crowd however, was in the line for a very different kind of live show. It was the first night of the School of Life Live tour, and replacing screeching rock frontmen would be philosophers, psychiatrists and modern day technology gurus, and their lyrics would be derived from a new-school series of self-help books.

Brands and music in Asia: insight report

FRUKT has teamed up with the Music Matters conference in Singapore to take a look at key music and brand partnerships in the Asia Pacific region. Download our ‘Exclusive Brands And Music Asia Insight Report’, showcasing a wide variety of brand and artist alignments across areas such as Korea, Japan, China and the Philippines.

East meets West

With the West still getting to grips with the notion that artist/brand partnerships can help facilitate both new revenue streams and platforms for creativity, Asia in many ways has been ahead of the game. With brand alignments built into the artist business model from the offset, as much of a core component of the package as the music itself, commercial deals are widespread.

SXSW: brands, bands and interactive fans

Interested in understanding how your brand can benefit from a deeper association with music? Then download our ‘Exclusive FRUKT SXSW 2012 Insight Report’, highlighting our pick of the very best brand activations, bands, apps and music innovations during the festival.

SXSW 2012

The sprawling SXSW festival, now in its 26th year, brings in around $168 million annually to the Austin economy as thousands flock to its bustling streets to celebrate the great and good of music, film, fashion and interactivity. FRUKT, as ever, was on the ground, bumping into friends old and new and soaking up the atmosphere of this awesome festival.

Superbrands invest in entertainment

The results of the 2012 consumer Superbands index, the annual consumer brands survey listing the top 500 consumer and B2B brands in the UK, were revealed yesterday. FRUKT’s Jack Horner, a judge on the Superbrands panel, was invited to pen the feature essay for this year’s accompanying book, and with the cultural spectacle that is the Olympics on every marketer’s lips, he focused his attention on the entertainment remit of these highly favoured brands.

FRUKT did a bit of digging around and found that out of the top ten brands on the 2012 Superbrands list a sizeable 90% had forged some form of alignment with entertainment, with a further 72% of the top 50 brands having utilised entertainment, be it music, film, or art, in their marketing efforts.

Whether its Rolex, Coca-Cola, BMW, John Lewis or Cadbury’s – each has seen the value in building an association with entertainment in order to reach consumers.

Brit Awards: the ads, the brands and the music

As the great and the good of the music business struggle bleary eyed into work (at some point this afternoon), after one of the most important nights in the UK music calendar, just what have we learnt post event? Other than the fact One Direction can’t tell one radio station from another; Blur acceptance speeches make us thankful for TiVo; and that Adele’s 6 Grammys and 2 Brits still doesn’t guarantee her a moment in the spotlight.

Oh, and that Bruno Mars is really quite tiny.

For me at least, (watching from the comfort of my sofa) the biggest revelation of the night came not during the production, but during the ad breaks – where the music, ironically, seemed noticeably lacking.

Idle chitter chatter?

Last week was Social Media Week. It was a week of chin stroking, hypothesising, brand bashing, and Olympics scrutiny, not to mention the age-old topic of brands awkwardly  ‘jumping in’ to social with a cavalier disregard for strategic thinking, being bandied around. It would seem that some brands are consistently determined to use social media in particularly obnoxious ways, gleefully whacking “join us on Facebook!” onto the backside of all possible marketing. Truth is, we all know that brands need to incorporate social as part of the overall ‘marketing mix’ in order for it to have any relevance, it’s a given, but it appears to be easier said than done. Short term, we’ve got a few more obtuse clangers to come. Long term, we have faith there’s some good stuff on the horizon.

Taking entertainment beyond the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is the Olympics of advertising, with brands limbering up all year for what could be their big moment of glory at an event that is about so much more than mere sport. Amongst the record breaking Twitter statistics revealed post game, 42% of tweets were about the ads, with only a mere 4% about the Giants actual win. Why? Because Super Bowl Sunday is, at its heart, not just a display of sporting prowess – it’s a shared entertainment experience, largely driven by brands.

A sizeable 73% of the 111 million strong audience tuning into the Super Bowl view the ads as a core part of the entertainment spectacle that is the big game. However, it hasn’t always been this way.

Top of the Pops

It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t care less about Elizabeth’s bash nor give two hoots how quickly a man you’ve never heard of can get from A to B on a stretch of track in Stratford: 2012 is set to be a big year.  And don’t the marketing men (and women) know it.

We’re set to be swamped under a deluge of marketing bumph coming in from all angles.  Some of it will cleverly relate to the Jubilee or Olympics; the very clever ones will try to allude to both; the less imaginative ones will probably not make any effort, opting to exploit the occasions without paying lip service to them.

Here at FRUKT we predict seeing more activations in unexpected places and adhering to the principle of less is more.  What serves as a better platform for this than the experiential pop up?

2012 resolution – Check In Your Emotional Baggage

Everyone likes a good moan in January – the seismic scale of the country’s collective Facebook grumbles probably rises to 8.9 round about…now? It’s not usually like this though. The rest of the year we can’t wait to be happy, or at least appear to be happy. Updates about spring blossom, romantic bike rides, beautiful sunsets, great food, amazing music, brilliant nights out – they are making us jealous every day. Stanford University even conducted an ‘envy study’ because positive reporting was seriously skewing our perception on real-life. So why are we so reticent to talk about the bad bits too? Because as it turns out, studies have shown that negative comments on Facebook receive more comments from friends anyway. And no-one likes a smug person.

People powered music festival activation

Next month we will once again be rolling out our annual report into brand involvement during this summer’s music festival season.

‘Field Work 2011 – the definitive guide to brand activations at music festivals’ will offer insight into the very best brand activity across the length and breadth of the UK’s festival scene. Packed full of case studies, insight and interviews with leading brands and festival promoters, it’s essential reading for anyone eager to better understand this passionate marketing opportunity.

While our upcoming report is focused on the UK this year, we haven’t taken our eye of the wider festival stage, and a number of innovative international campaigns have caught our attention this year.