From Coca Cola’s “jingles” or Apple’s integration of trending songs in their commercials, to local brands such as HKTVmall or Tamjai Samgor which recently created a music video to promote their campaigns, we can see that sound is playing a more significant role in the marketing mix of a campaign.
In fact, a report by Research Nester revealed that the digital audio market in Asia Pacific is also estimated to have the highest share of 29% by the end of 2035. This growth could be attributed to the growing number of musicians in this region. Furthermore, the consumption of mobile phones in this region is high and mobile phones are the largest used gadgets for streaming music.
The demand for music streaming is also clear and strong. In Q3 2022, the number of paid subscribers of music tech giant Spotify reached 195 million paid subscribers, up seven million subscribers from the previous quarter.
In response to these trends, music marketing is a common tactic used in branding and advertising campaigns from brands that serve a younger audience such as food and beverage, telco and broadband services, said Izham Omar, a music producer and former content and creative executive director, Disney+.
“Music is a very powerful tool to win the hearts and minds of the consumer, especially the coveted 15 to 35-year-old market segment. This is because the most impulsive and passionate consumers of music are in this age group[…]It is the one product that is readily and easily consumable, and with a hit, it can capture the imagination of a large group of people,” he added.
The commonality of music marketing in campaigns also emphasises the widespread adoption of music in branding efforts, according to Datuk Jake, strategic advisor, Media Prima Audio.
Raymond Chin, CCO, VMLY&R Asia, attributed this to being able to create brand love or drive buzz quickly, especially when the music created taps into the current zeitgeist and is relatable. “One good example is Ikea China’s use of the Rainbow Choir to sing about COVID lockdown life. It tapped into the existing popularity of the artist, and the Ikea brand role is strong yet done in a tasteful non-hard-selling way,” he added.
Essential elements of a good music marketing campaign
Tapping into music culture offers brands a valuable channel to connect with youth demographics, particularly Gen Z, who are deeply influenced by music. However, it’s crucial for brands to look beyond short-term gains and focus on developing authentic, long-term strategies, said Vinod Savio, chief creative officer, DDB Group Singapore.
“Sustaining the momentum post a successful music marketing campaign is key, just as artists must evolve beyond their debut hits,” he added.
He took BTS' collaborations with various brands for example. “These partnerships have resonated well beyond Gen Z, making a significant global impact, and demonstrating the potential of music marketing to go beyond a fleeting trend,” he added.
Music's stickiness to its audience is what endears APAC brands to tap into music. If the music and artist carry the values and the messages of the brand and are aligned on many levels, then it would be a perfect marriage of art and commerce, said Omar.
“In the end, what is the message and the feeling that the brand wants its consumers to feel, and can the artist and his/her music deliver it for them? It doesn't have to be a long jingle disguised as a song, it could actually be an actual produced song that naturally shares the message that the brand wants, whether it is a work-for-hire, or an existing song out there,” he added.
Optimising music marketing with limited budgets
Managing a music marketing campaign with a limited budget is like being an indie filmmaker tasked with creating a blockbuster hit. However, even on a shoestring budget, the right tune can make the whole room dance, said DDB’s Savio.
Media Prima Audio’s Jake took Singapore Airlines for example, which effectively used user-generated content and crowd-sourced music in its #SilverKris playlist campaign. “By encouraging passengers to share their travel playlists and experiences, the airline created a cost-effective campaign that tapped into a diverse range of musical preferences,” he added.
Furthermore, collaborating with local artists who have a strong following within their specific interest groups can be mutually beneficial, providing exposure for both the brand and the artist without exorbitant costs, said Rudi Leung, director and founder, Hungry Digital.
It is also worth noting that there is no point in spending loads of money in producing the content and not having any budget left to amplify the content, according to Ranga Somanathan, co-founder at RSquared Global Ventures.
“Working with a strategic partner who is connected with the artist network, will increase the probability of success for the marketers," he said.
Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top marketing stories.
We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's marketing development – for free.subscribe now open in new window