New forms of advertisement
By Scott G
Advertainment! Ahh, the very name sends thrilling vibrations up the spine of anyone with marketing in their blood or communication in their genes. And it produces a strong shiver of disgust from many of my colleagues in the music industry.
"I don't want my songs to be involved in advertising," they say, forgetting entirely that by wearing branded running shoes, a t-shirt hawking Fender guitars and a baseball cap emblazoned with the Peavey logo, their very lives are involved in advertising. Plus, if they attend an awards show, they happily state the brand and designer names of everything they're wearing.
They further ignore the fact that radio itself is a form of advertainment. What gets played has little to do with musical accomplishment or artistic merit, but is directly related to the backing of large corporate distributors. I have been told to budget anywhere from a quarter of a million dollars to $350,000 in promotional costs to obtain national radio play on (the appropriately-named) commercial radio stations. Is it any wonder that corporations are seeking ways to build a little brand awareness into the songs?