A few progressive lifestyle brands are moving boldly into a brave new world where they see themselves as media companies, for that’s partly what the democratization of media means. It’s not just that citizens are reporters now, it’s that brands are media companies (or capable of becoming media companies). Pepsi is one of these early movers.
According to Brand Republic’s Media.Asia, PepsiCo has partnered with Qun Yin Culture and Entertainment to launch QMusic, a new label that will sign and promote Chinese performing artists.
Here’s what two of Pepsi top marketers in China are thinking:
Harry Hui, CMO of PepsiCo Greater China says an unprecedented number of young people have joined together to form rock bands all over China. He said that there were more than 20,000 active bands in China today, the live concert/music festival industry is growing at 28 per cent per annum and one million guitars were sold in 2008. “Creating QMusic to help this new talent find their voice was a natural evolution for our business. The Pepsi proposition is simple: we are all about innovation, self-expression and creativity.”
“In China, Pepsi has built a highly successful business and portfolio of brands through marketing that connects directly with our customers. We are now seeing the evolution of this model from working with China’s biggest celebrities to also being the creator of our own, new talent. QMusic will identify, develop and grow the next generation of superstars in China. The bands will become integral to our future marketing: our new stars will write songs for us, appear in our television commercials and their images will be placed on our products,” added Chris Tung, VP of PepsiCo China.
I love the idea–for the artists seeking financial support and for the brands looking to connect in a more meaningful way.
Contagious Magazine points out that Pepsi is not alone in this pursuit.
P&G signed Brooklyn rapper Q to its label TAG Records ‘The Freshest New Hip Hop Music Record Label’, named after its male body spray, while UK dance act Groove Armada signed a deal with Bacardi giving the drinks brand certain rights over its music. In March, Groove Armada released its new EP on a Bacardi-branded online sharing service, bliveshare.
When I was working on the Camel business I desperately wanted the brand to support its event series with live recordings from Camel Events. But they weren’t ready for it. Just like Coors wasn’t ready for an internet radio station in 2002, when that was the big idea I was forwarding. It pains me to know I didn’t get these things done, but I’m pleased to see others are having success because it means I’m more likely to get it done when I step up to that particular plate again.