Case Study:
How a brand landed a starring role in a music video and the impact it had on sales and marketing goals

Since the purpose of getting a product in a piece of branded entertainment is to increase awareness and cool factor, there’s no question it is tough to beat the hipness and evergreen impact a musician has on pop culture. There are questions on how to get a product into a music video. Good news is it is possible and better news is music videos are more popular and plentiful than ever. While we talk about how one brand did it, it’s important to know the basics of brand integration in music videos. So here are the three Dos, actually Don’ts, of how a product (any product) can find their way into a music video.

Case Study Step One:
The brand didn’t downplay, doubt or lack confidence in their product before they started.

So many people will look at their product and immediately compare it to Beats Headphones or a Bentley and dismiss the possibility that their energy bar, t-shirt, pot holder, skateboard or whatever stands a chance with a world famous rocker, rapper or DJ. Well, the only thing to say to that is it is unbelievably incorrect.

Musicians are just like you, they like a huge variety of stuff and they like money. For this case study, we’ll use an example of how we recently had a meeting with a music manager (to be addressed in the next section) who told us that one of their major country artists really wanted to partner with Sharpie pens. SHARPIE! Yeah, even we were surprised.

So what does this mean? Another example, a medium sized jean company wanted to get in a music video. These jeans weren’t covered in jewels or rhinestones or graffiti art or anything fancy so they were worried they lacked the pop be in pop music. Well, there are lots of types of music. So, we took a look at them, got an understanding of when they wanted the integration to start, how much money they had for the placement and a general idea of what market most of their sales came from. Turns out, they wanted to start around the beginning of the school year, had a smaller budget and mostly saw their sales on the West Coast. So, even though this wasn’t a huge brand, or trendy product or crazy accessory… the jeans were a player and we were ready to make the next step which brings up our second thing to keep in mind…

Case Study Step two:
The brand didn’t limit who they reached out to to make a deal.

Now of course the chances that Miley is going to knock on your home office door asking to wear your jewelry while she’s half-naked swinging from a trapeze are pretty slim. But, that doesn’t mean Miley isn’t going to wear your jewelry while she half-naked swinging from a trapeze. Most people just need to know that there are a lot of people who have a hand in making a music video. First, yes, there’s the artists. So, if you have BLACKPINK on speed dial by all means make that call. But there’s also their manager and talent agent who at least have their names listed on Google.

Then, even easier to get to, is the person that most music companies have on staff to handle the monetization of their talent roster. But that’s not the avenue we used to get this denim client their role on screen.

Almost all videos are filmed by directors who are on staff at production companies. And those production companies are almost always making not one but a few videos at any given time and have many more in the pipeline.

So, because these jeans weren’t a big brand, we didn’t think managers or agents would return a call to a brand they’ve never heard of. So, we took a new route. We were able to get on the radar of several of production companies and let them know we had a paying client with a pretty easy product to place. This was a big move for a smaller brand… they couldn’t have been happier. Within days, there was a bite. A few days later… a done deal.

The key pieces to negotiate were below.
  1. Price of integration was $12,000.
  2. Artists was to receive 12 pairs of jeans in 3 different sizes
  3. Artists keeps product
  4. Product must remain on screen for at least 12% of video
  5. Jeans are not to be altered, destroyed or defamed in any way
  6. Brand label must appear in 1 hero shot
  7. Artist was to post 1 still from music video on social media channels

The singer didn’t really care what they wore and the wardrobe knew they could make this work. So it was happening. But it wasn’t done yet because of the last and final don’t.

Case Study Step three:
Don’t give up control of the way your product is shown.

As you can see above, there are many negotiated aspects of the contract to keep in mind. You know more than anyone what your brand is all about (if you don’t, we can solve it for you). But it’s not just numbers, it is also how your brand is portrayed. In this case, believe it or not, the artist was going to wear these jeans while shoveling manure. No good. But we were able to watch the process with the client, consult with them, and get the integration moved to the artist wearing them in another scene when they were going out to a bar to dance later. Issue averted. Happy client. Now while this is an extreme example, you must know you are in control. You do have a say and having an advocate on your side doesn’t hurt.

Case Study Step Four – The Results

The first thing to understands here is there are incredible aspects of product placement and some aspects that make it very different from a traditional sales advertisement or even social media advertising. In most cases with marketing today, you can track clicks from ads and even social media posts. You can track a sale back to each and every online ad you make. This is a bit different. So, while there wasn’t a “BUY NOW” button on a this video on YouTube or even the Instagram post from the artist, the sales of these jeans, brand mentions (sentiment tracking) and website traffic was absolutely impacted.

  • In the email campaign that went out featuring the video, there was a 29% open rate which was a 15% increase over past emails.
  • Purchases and clickthroughs were at an all time high of 31%.
  • Brand mentions on social media increased 49%.
  • Traffic to the website over the following 4 months after the video’s release increased 57%, 59%, 44% and 37% respectively.
  • Sales of that model of the jeans featured increased 1,412% and outsold all other models combined.
  • Finally, and most importantly, the relationship with the artist and production company continues. All in all, a very successful integration.

Brands and music are a perfect combo.
They are fun, popular and live on YouTube forever.

Please do keep these don’ts in mind when you set out to make some noise for what you are selling. At HOLLYFY, we have several ways to make it happen for you. So, follow these steps or reach out. Go make it. GO HOLLYFY.

RELATED: 5 Types of Products Musicians want to Endorse May Surprise You


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