Sweet Noise From The Urban Jungle

I remember the first spec ad I ever had designed by a professional. It was for Banana Republic and the headline read, “Clothes for the Urban Jungle.” It looked good, but it didn’t work hard enough as an ad.
According to Ad Age, The Gap-owned brand is still working that basic theme, but they’re adding music to the mix in effort to “project metropolitan diversity with a mix of rock, pop-folk, classical and jazz musicians set against Manhattan and Brooklyn backdrops.”
Sara Bareilles, Liz Phair, OK Go, Tommy Torres, David Sánchez, Ayo, Esperanza Spalding, David Garrett and Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional will all be featured across print, outdoor, direct mail and a microsite where consumers can watch unplugged performances and download free music.
I don’t know what’s bigger today–consumer generated media, event marketing, WOM, social media, advertainment, branded utility, content, product placement or celebrity endorsements. I guess they’re all big. Ideally, you get three of four of the above working together. Sounds like Banana Republic is on the right path to achieve that.
Billboard adds that Banana Republic customers will receive an iTunes gift card with purchase from Feb. 17-26, redeemable for a free compilation of songs by the participating artists.
During the campaign’s second phase, expected to begin in May, another set of digital tracks will be released by the same nine artists — this time original songs they composed especially for the retailer’s “City Stories” theme. Those will be housed on the campaign’s microsite, where visitors can also access free downloads, videos and interviews with the artists and link to iTunes directly.
Banana Republic’s chief marketing officer Peter DeLuca says, “We’re really trying to establish the brand’s vision of the city as an anchor point. Music is a key piece of the puzzle.”



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.