Product placement deal strikes a chord with music industry

It’s hard to imagine where else advertisers could reach consumers when individuals absorb 5,000 ads a day. While some claim this number to be exaggerated, is it really? We are constantly being shown that there is always another outlet into which advertisers can build their exposure into our daily routine. This time, a newly formed power trio has found a way to delve further into our favorite leisurely activity – entertainment.

Universal Music Group, Havas advertising agency, and ad tech company Mirriad have joined together to begin weaving advertising campaigns directly into current, past, and presumably future, streaming music videos in a process that Mirriad calls “native in-video advertising”. The idea – “to leverage the massive popularity of music video streaming to create additional revenue for artists and to open a new avenue for advertisers to reach specific audiences.”

The technology for such advertising allows for superimposition by scanning existing videos for surfaces, such as bare walls, billboards, bus stands, and even empty cups, then branding such assets with the appropriate campaign from the bided advertiser.

For the music industry, this move could be exponential for revenue gains. With the popularity and ease of downloading digital singles rather than buying CDs, music sales have fallen over $3.5 billion in the last decade. As a result, revenue from advertising has become increasingly important for both label and artist.

Advertisers, which thanks to Havas’s clientele include: Coca-Cola, LG, McDonalds, and Ikea, are being motivated to sign up for the service with the promise of faster campaign creation and greater flexibility in terms of targeting fans.

Partnerships between artists and brands have proven to be a beneficial path for all involved. Nielsen found that not only do people notice brands in music videos, but these videos can contribute an average of an 8 point percentage lift in purchase intent and improved perception.

“Audiences like to see brands within content more than they like to be interrupted with advertising around a content they choose to watch,” says Mirriad’s chief executive Mark Popkiewicz.

Music videos are proving to have been a smart route for advertisers to take. Unlike other standard types of video, such as TV and movies, music videos have the ability to go viral. Artists and brands achieve consumption and exposure at the levels that both straight audio and advertising cannot always garner.

However, the current online music video platform often provides the disservice to the advertiser in which the viewer can choose to avoid or skip ads that come before or after the videos. By allowing for integration, Mirriad claims it is providing a solution for such dismissiveness.

Grand Marnier, a spirits brand, has been the first campaign to test the waters of insertion technology. Their ads can be seen in videos for Far East Movement’s “Rocketeer” and Avicii’s “You Make Me”. Below are stills from the music video showing how the ads are subtly included to seem like natural background material.

avicii before

avicii after

Yet there still remains the concern of whether or not this insertion infringes on the “art” of the music video. According to this article, campaigns must be approved by the artist, label, and brand; and only videos from artists who have agreed to participate in the deal will be considered.

What do you think of this new type of product placement? Will it ruin your music video viewing experience? It is no secret the importance in which product placement plays in the film industry, has the transition to music videos just been the next step?

Are you an artist, director, or part of a music label? Do you feel the artistic part of music videos will be intruded on with these placement ads? Let us know in a comment below.

-Savannah Valade

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