Put The Band Before The Brand: MullenLowe Presents ‘Sounds Without Boundaries’ at SXSW
At this year’s SXSW Interactive Festival, global creative network MullenLowe Group presents “Sounds Without Boundaries” — an exploration of how brands and musicians can work together to create content that contributes to society.
MullenLowe U.S., Boston President Geoff Cottrill, who is also chairman of the board of the GRAMMY Foundation, and who ran music partnership programs for Converse, Starbucks and Coca-Cola, will lead the session. He’ll be joined by Jon Cohen, Co-CEO of creative agency Cornerstone, Co-Founder of global media company The FADER, Inc. and FADER Label. Jon is also on the board of directors for Sweetgreen, where he’s helped produce the annual music festival Sweetlife, and the board of the Children’s Cancer Association’s music-medicine program, MyMusicRx. Additionally, they’ll be joined by Nick Stern, manager at Vector Management. Nick currently works with Phosphorescent, The Black Angels, Saint Motel, Eagulls, Kid Rock and more.
The group will talk about how to make the historically one-sided exchange between brands and music reciprocal. Marketing and music have an intrinsic relationship, and this discussion will challenge marketers to evolve their approach to musical collaborations, going beyond licensing and sponsoring by making sound investments in the arts while challenging the perception that they are driven only by commercial interests. Geoff’s view is that these investments should nurture a shared passion that will increase brand equity and foster strong connections that money can’t buy.
Geoff Cottrill says, “If you want to work with musicians to build your brand, take a minute to think about them first. Don’t ask yourself what the artist can and will do for you. Ask yourself how your brand can help the artist. Find ways to be useful and to do meaningful things for and with the artist if you want to truly connect with consumers with music.”
Nick Stern says, “Now that the idea of ‘selling out’ is less of a concern, it’s important for artist managers to engage in deeper conversations with brands about how to effectively tell the story their band wants out there. It’s not always easy to do, but the right partnerships are just as effective as any press or radio campaign.”
Jon Cohen says, “The most important part of our campaigns is making sure we carefully align the interests of the artist and brand. It is crucial that we protect and support the artist’s creativity while ensuring the brand's objectives are met. It’s this ability paired with our deep understanding of what impacts culture and inspires consumers that make our campaigns consistently successful.”
What: ‘Sounds Without Boundaries’: Panel on Music and Brands at the SXSW Interactive Festival
When: March 15th, 2:00–3:00pm
Where: JW Marriott
MullenLowe Group thanks the SXSW Conference and Festivals for the opportunity to share our point of view with the industry and greater SXSW audience. We look forward to connecting with those attending as well as with those following the action from afar.