Over the years I’ve noted CDs packaged with boxes of cereal and cleaning fluids, among other household items. We have also seen custom CDs distributed by the Gap, Pottery Barn, Starbucks, Victoria's Secret and Williams-Sonoma. Interestingly, a company named LidRock even found a way to turn fountain drink lids into a functional Mini-CD or DVD disc capable of delivering music, video, and games.
In 2003 LidRock launched with a four million unit promotion for Big3 indie label singer Rachel Farris. Rachel Farris is by no means a household name today, but one can hardly call one marketing event a campaign. Also, keep in mind that LidRock wasn't using the technology to promote the artist, but rather using Farris' material to demonstrate proof of concept to potential corporate clients.
I propose such promotions work better when the artist doesn't simply represent available content, but when the advertiser and the entertainer form a synergistic relationship, and each represents one half of a real strategic alliance for the other.
Some people don’t like the idea that artists might attempt to win fans from the back of box of soap or oatmeal, but this concept goes well beyond detergent and oats. I think it could even portend a future music industry where artists are at least in part supported by patronage rather than the deals record companies currently offer them.
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Click on any link below to read all the articles in the four-part Fall 2006 AUDIO AS ADDED VALUE series exploring exploring new paradigms for Music Distribution:
1. The Compact Disc Is Dead
2. Saving The Music Industry One Brand at a Time
3. Self-Referential Jingles are not Content
4. Synergy = Energy