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Press play: Lullaboy crashes weddings in the name of love (and branding)

Press play: Lullaboy crashes weddings in the name of love (and branding)

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His family and peers know him as Bernard Dinata, but to the hopeless romantics who listen to his love songs, he's 'lullaboy'. The decision to switch his artist's name was a matter of branding for the 29-year-old, who wanted to emphasise the importance of storytelling.

Though it took him six years for fans to identify with lullaboy, the musician has worked hard to market himself, even gaining the opportunity to swoon Swifties after The Eras Tour concert as they wait out the traffic on the way home. Calling it a "great opportunity we don't want to pass up", lullaboy sang a mix of Taylor Swift's best hits and a few originals, allowing him to introduce himself to a new crowd. 

Interestingly, he had released lyric videos to his original songs in different languages in order to reach out to new listeners and fans from around the region too. However, that's not all lullaboy has up his sleeves. In other campaigns he's executed to market his music, lullaboy had used polaroid pictures to tease new releases and even travelled across the border to help couples take their relationship to the next step. 

In this series, MARKETING-INTERACTIVE spoke with lullaboy to get to know how he markets his music and the most exciting campaign he's run up till now. 

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MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: Tell me the story of your first big moment when you felt you made it in the industry? 

lullaboy: It was the day I got signed to major record label.

I think there are three phases in an artist's life or at least this happened for me, where the first phase is where you have no self-worth, and you don't really know your place in this world, in the music industry.

The second phase is when you start to realise that life is too short to be scared and you release music, it's when you start believing in yourself.

The third phase is when other people start to see in you what you saw in yourself, and other people see in you what you hope was there all along inside of you. That third phase for me was when the label signed me. Ever since then, I told myself I will never ever say again, that I'm an aspiring musician. I am a musician.

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: What’s the most exciting way you’ve marketed your music? How did you go about it? 

lullaboy: I think it would have to be a campaign for one of my songs called Life with you. The campaign revolved around weddings and proposals, because it was actually my proposal song.

We did a lot of contests, where people could win a wedding ring, a vacation, flight tickets, anything wedding related. I worked together with radio stations as well.

I actually had to fly to Malaysia in order to help this one couple propose. We provided them with a date at a very fancy restaurant and it was actually the girl proposing to the guy and they didn't know that I was going to be there.

Before the proposal I came up and I sang the song and then she proposed and thankfully he said yes.

Moving forward, I will be making surprise appearances at people's weddings.

I'll be singing this song for them. That's coming in the next few months.

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: What are some challenges you faced in marketing your music? 

lullaboy: Every single song release is a marketing challenge, and what makes that sentence crazier is that we are in a single-driven world now. It's kind of rare for artists to drop albums so that means every artist needs to release a lot of music.

Each song is about something different so how are you going to do a campaign revolving around that song? Our brains always have to keep working and that's the challenge of how to keep things fresh.

And I think that brings me to the next tough point, which is we have a choice. We have a choice of servicing the old fans or doing something viral to try to get new fans. With the old fans they appreciate deeper content more about the artists, more about the story of how a certain song was created and the content should be a little bit more thoughtful. But when you're trying to make like viral piece of content, got to do something outlandish and something crazy so that's the struggle I feel right now as an artist.

Where's the balance there? How can we do both at the same time? The truth is there's no shortcuts. We just have to do something deep, thoughtful and crazy. There's no being lazy. I just have to work twice as hard. 

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: What’s one marketing tip you’d like to give fellow musicians who are starting out and are struggling to get their music out there?

lullaboy: There are two paths that you can choose. The first one is if you truly are just starting out and you have nothing to lose, you have not tried to build a community and you haven't started building up this tower and laying the bricks down - you can literally do anything. I would recommend they can do the craziest, most outlandish marketing and just be consistent with that. I think that there's a huge chance that they could just go viral.

However, if that's not the kind of artist that they want to be, if that's not your personality, then there's a second path which is focus on branding.

Focus on building your brand from the ground up and be consistent with that brand.

You don't have to do the craziest marketing gimmicks or anything. You just need to be consistent and be that one artist where people know if they want this kind of music, if they want this kind of sound and style - they go to you.

The first path that I mentioned might be faster but the second path it's going to take longer, but it might give you more longevity. 

There are people like me, who realize this too late and I'm already in the middle, and I've already done music for so many years that I can't go all the way left. Going all the way right is also tough now.

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: How do you think brands and corporations can support artists like you?

lullaboy: One of the greatest feelings is when a brand and an artist love what each other is doing. The ultimate goal is to be proud of being associated with each other. That is why I am always so proud to represent the brands that believe in me. In turn, the brand can suggest creative ways of how they can help us tell a great story. That is the best kind of synergy.

Join us on 12 June 2024 for an exciting experience as Content360 makes its debut in Malaysia! Brace yourself to join the crème de la crème of the content marketing industry hailing from across the region. Immerse yourself in a dynamic atmosphere, and uncover the latest trends with thought leaders and solution providers from the realm of content.

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