Mobile and music are great brand partners. Everyone can listen to music on their smartphone and music brands have more access and more options available to communicate to people who are listening to them.
Every major band has an app and there are apps for all music publications from The Rolling Stone to NME. The ability to engage on a continuing basis is there through various interactive devices from push messaging to location based exclusive promotions.
Music brands though are merely scratching the surface of what they could do on mobile.
Two examples of two mobile brands that have tried to realise this potential are Indosat in Indonesia and Huawei in Australia.
Indosat wanted to utilise the power of music and bring all segments of the younger generation for good. They used a young artist Raisa to sing “to you my country” and launched it on independence day on youtube. Raisa then encouraged fans to singalong and post their versions on a sharing network that were then used in a giant singalong session at the “Soul of the nation” festival.
While they may see this as a great engagement vehicle I think from a mobile perspective it could be dramatically improved. There is though a lack of mobile enabled interaction and engagement.
They could have ensured that people had to use a mobile to upload or sing their version. There was no push messaging to get people to interact. Seems more of a branding event than a mobile engagement one. There were sales promotions around the association but the number of uploads and interactions were reportedly low for such an excercise.
The second example is Chinese brand Huawei and Coldplay. In what many described as the largest branded content deal in Australia in 2012 Huawei backed two exclusive performances by Coldplay.
The first live concert event in November was broadcast live on Huawei’s facebook page as well as on the Seven network with significant Huawei branding. The second live event a more intimate performance was also broadcast on their page as well as 2DayFM also with branded mentions/branding on the stream.
Huawei gave away their new Ascend smartphone to competition winners who could record the Coldplay event with the band’s blessing and share through social media. Significantly these were the band’s only concerts outside of their concert schedule, a real coup.
Huawei had earlier in the year sponsored the concert tour of Australia by Coldplay and telecasted concerts promoting content brought to fans by the mobile brand.
Giving fans what they want in terms of connected content and being seen as the instigator was smart marketing from Huawei. Could they have gone further and said that you could only watch the event on their smartphone? Could they have given extra tracks not available on the live album to Huawei customers thus really adding value to the phone?
Could they have ensured that you could only get into the event itself with an Ascend smartphone? When people got the email with their ticket on could this have been a QR code that could be scanned to get into the concert rather than having to print out tickets which seems like a backward step? If this was done could it have unlocked exclusive content?
This would have connected the actual live experience with the brand and shown the real value of owning the phone and communicating that exclusive benefits and additions are only available with Huawei.