On band/branding affairs, the soda company Mountain Dew established a music “label” called Green Label Sound , solely based on singles downloads. They inaugurated their activities with releases from Chicago’s The Cool Kids and Brooklyn duo Matt And Kim, with more deals to be signed in the months to come. The chosen singles are featured on the label’s front page and are available to download for free. The much too sugary Mountain Dew (I personally prefer Canada Dry) plans on sponsoring a tour for its artists and is working on means to help them throughout these tough times.
Here is what Chuck Inglish of The Cool Kids has to say:
“Mountain Dew is not trying to push their product through music like everyone else; they just wanna support music. … And with us tying to set up our new record without a record company, Mountain Dew gives us an unexpected helping hand to get up those steps.”
Deals between brands and bands have become a pretty common practice this past year and most relationships seem healthy for both parties. It’s hard to judge what’s to become of this new emerging model. I don’t really think I would associate my image to a soda brand, then again it’s easy to be all high and mighty when I don’t have a serious project going on.
I’m definitely not a big fan of the ‘sell out’ term so I try not to judge; I truly believe that if the creative process is not corrupted in any way then bands can gain from these deals. Since selling soda has nothing to do with selling records, bands won’t have to report to music executives who believe they know it all. Instead, they’ll hopefully work with people who will trust their artistic visions and goals in exchange for promoting a company with a visible face, or in this case taste.
Again, as long as those promotion strategies are not so obvious to the point of creating a hard-association between the band and the brand, I don’t see a problem. Although the brands’ goal is to connect with the artist’s fans, they should know that these fans will be wary about seeing them in the picture. Pushing their marketing objectives too bluntly can and will come back and bite them (as well as their image/sales) in the ass.
Whatever the brands’ master plans are, they had better not be too invasive on the short-term if they want to sustain long-term penetration in the music market, especially in the indie scene.