When was the first encounter between music and marketing? Hard to say. We could dare say that this lucky alliance was born in the twentieth century, but there is earlier evidence of its presence.
Actually, one of the first cases of documented music branding dates back to 1869. We find ourselves in Vienna: Franz Von Wertheim is a well-known Austrian producer of fire-proof safes. He is the author of a great commercial success: in just one year his company sold over 20.000 pieces of this product. For this reason Von Wertheim decided to organise a dance to celebrate his success, and gave Josef Strauss the task of composing a polka having the unequivocal, evocative title, of the ‘reason why’ of his product: it’s Feuerfest!, and that is, Non-flammable!
Since then, naturally, music branding has gradually developed through modalities and technologies more and more advanced and diversified, seeking the attention of consumers that ‘stray’ more and more from the means of traditional marketing. In a world characterized by a greater and greater negligence of the consumer, who is exposed to thousands of business messages throughout the day, the most innovative enterprises have to transport Wertheim’s polka in everyday life, and create their special experience at every moment.
This is the very gist of music branding: it must create connections that stay in the client’s mind, preferably through tools that are always at his/her availability. Every time the user comes in contact with the company (background music), or stays with it as long as possible (compilation, download of songs, branded music contents on mobile telephony and USB pens, or on the Web).
Among the companies that have made music branding a real philosophy, the case of Intesa Sanpaolo is certainly one of the most interesting. The Esprit brand, dedicated to young adults between 18 and 30 , has actually joined music as a tool of communication for several years now. All in a key that is always up with the times.
We spoke about it with Giuseppe Ravello, Esprit brand manager: “Music has become for young people a language of universal communication. And for this reason, starting from the launch of the Esprit programme, we have dedicated a lot of attention to this aspect. In particular, we have created an Esprit music CD, that from 2004 and throughout all 2005 was given to clients as a welcome gift. To go with the world of youngsters in continuous movement, in 2006 the CD became a DVD of music clips. The following step was to launch the Esprit Music Code site, that confirms the importance attributed to music in the communication with young people and the will to keep the Esprit programme as a reference point in evolution. Esprit Music Code is a mini-site on the Esprit portal, entirely dedicated to music, where you can find news, reviews, a concert agenda and an area for downloading songs. Actually, thanks to Kiver’s collaboration, since March 5th the welcome gift has been represented by a code that makes it possible to download songs at no cost from Esprit Music Code”.
The twentieth-century party changes into the always-with-you of the new millennium, but the connection is always created with the same tool: music.