Monday, February 11, 2013

Lessons in Marketing: Grammy Awards 2013

Posted By: George Deeb - 2/11/2013


& Comment

I am a big music fan, and always enjoy watching the annual Grammy Awards, which aired last night.  As I was watching, I couldn't help but notice all the smart business marketing that was happening throughout the evening.  Here were my big award winners from last night:

Corporate Advertisers (Especially Target, Pepsi, Bud Light):  I felt more than ever, the corporate advertisers, as a whole, did a much better job of tailoring their creatives and messaging to the target audience watching the show.  Target pushed music sales of three Grammy nominated artists, like Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift, soon after they performed on stage, including "tracks only available at Target".  Pepsi launched a teaser video of the new song of Tate Stevens, winner of the music show X Factor, which drove thousand's of people to their website to see the rest.  In addition to Target, Bud Light timed a Justin Timberlake featured ad, singing the same song in the same outfit, shortly after his big performance on the show.  Corporate advertisers are finally "getting it": you can't use one-size fits all creatives; messaging needs to be highly personalized to fit the target audience.

Justin Timberlake:  If you need a good PR person, hire Justin Timberlake's PR manager.  Timberlake has been "retired" from music for the last few years, but he wanted to get back into to it.  What a better way, than to announce his decision a couple weeks before the Grammy's with a well orchestrated PR effort, announcing he is going to be singing his newest song on the biggest music stage on the planet.  Then knock the cover of the ball with his performance, and get Bud Light and Target to pound it home with additional exposure in their ad creatives during the show.  It was like he was never gone, with him immediately relevant again in the music scene after his long hiatus. Here is Timberlake's Grammy peformance and the matching Target ad and Bud Light ad.

Maroon5 & Alicia Keys:  How do you make two of the biggest music stars on the planet even bigger?  Put them on the stage together, singing a mashup of their two current hit singles, "Daylight" by Maroon5 and "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys.  The two songs and combined duet performance fit together like a glove, and the Twitter-sphere exploded, with people wondering where they could buy and download the track.  You can see the Grammy performance video here.

Sting & Bruno Mars:  When I first heard Bruno Mars's current hit song "Locked Out of Heaven", all I could think was, it sounded like a song right out of the Sting's mouth and style.  And, there was a lot of negative sentiment online saying the same.  So, what does Bruno Mars do?  He performs the song at the Grammy's, and invites Sting on stage to sing along, showing it wasn't an issue for either of them, putting it to rest.  And, in the process, Sting is thrust back on stage into the limelight, next to one of the biggest stars of today, making himself relevant again.  Great move by both of them.  Here is the video.

Kelly Rowland:  Kudo's to the PR manager for Kelly Rowland, formerly of Destiny's Child, where co-singer Beyonce has captured the far majority of the buzz since the the band broke up.  But, a cameo performance by Kelly Rowland in Beyonce's Super Bowl half time show last week, coupled with the Rowland's "dress of the night" at the Grammy's (as simply an award presenter, not as a music performer), which lit Twitter abuzz, put her back on the map in a major way.

Ryan Seacrest:  You cannot turn your head in the music world and not see Ryan Seacrest, between his radio show, hosting American Idol, replacing Dick Clark on the Rockin' New Year's Eve special, and now, him being featured on last night's show as the new honorary Chairman of Grammy Foundation Board, in charge of coming up with a new award for "Music Instructor of the Year".  But, more importantly, what I love about Seacrest: it never appears like the publicity is centered around him.  He is simply the humble and friendly facilitator, in the right place at the right time.  But, let's call it straight, Ryan is a master at personal branding by associating with all the key events in his industry.

Twitter:  As usual, major media outlets, like the Grammy's last night, continue to embrace Twitter as their social communication platform of choice.  It didn't hurt Twitter one bit to have the emcee, LL Cool J, continually reminding the watchers at home to use specific Twitter hashtags to provide their reactions to the show.  And, then have him read off some of the key tweets throughout the night and answering several of their questions live.  Another coup for Twitter.

Do you think I missed anything?  If so, add them in the comments field below.  Otherwise, incorporate marketing lessons like these, into your own businesses.  What's going to be your "Grammy's moment", to light your brand on fire??

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