Can Brands Dance? Sir Martin Says Yes

Music moves people. Live music moves people deeply. The experience lingers for days, weeks, sometimes for years.

Naturally, brand marketers would love to gain some of this attention for their own purposes, and increasingly they’re turning to experiential marketing to deliver. Which is why it is not surprising to learn that WPP has ponied up $10 million for a share of SFX Entertainment, media mogul Robert F.X. Sillerman’s recently revived company (he sold the company to Clear Channel for $4.4 billion in 2000).

In January, SFX Entertainment purchased the North American division of Holland-based ID&T Entertainment, the world’s largest dance music concert promoter.

Here is footage from 2012’s Tommorowland event in Belgium:

SFX also owns nightclubs and music download store, Beatport.

WPP “recognizes the power of dance music to coalesce and address an increasingly difficult-to-reach audience,” Mr. Sillerman said.

Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, compared the move to WPP’s investments in Vice, the Weinstein Company and others.

“Sillerman’s been extremely successful in consolidating fragmented industries which have untapped growth potential that generally have excellent marketing opportunities attached to them,” said Mike Principe, a former SFX attorney who is now CEO of The Legacy Agency. “He goes in, acquires en masse, and enjoys a leading position.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.