The Marketing Might of Music Streaming


Do you like music? Okay, stupid question: I might as well ask if you like converting oxygen into carbon dioxide, or Christmas Dinner. Everyone loves a good tune – with the possible exception of Andrew Lloyd Webber – and there’s nothing better than getting it for nothing. Remember how the holy grail of free music lured an entire generation into the open paws of that creepy Napster cat? Until the Recording Industry Association tied the bugger up in a burlap sack and chucked it in the Mississippi, of course.

Now, after a miserable half-decade of having to fork over cash for music, the free tunes are back; and it’s all thanks to applications like Spotify, we7 and Grooveshark. Music streaming services like these have become incredibly popular in an impossibly short amount of time, and they’re already having a big impact on the way music is made, distributed and charted. But forget all that. The important bit for us to realise is this: with all new forms of music consumption come all new advertising opportunities… Continue reading

Billygean’s Blog: Hooray for the Humdrum


I have a love-hate relationship with blogs. There are several I enjoy – travel blog Going Local is an absolute delight, for example, and James and The Blue Cat is consistently chucklesome – but there are many more that incense me. Like spite-filled celeb rumour mill Perez Hilton, an ever-present reminder of humankind’s inexorable retreat into idiocy. Though it’s the ‘personal diaries’ that have traditionally acquired the majority of my goat.

“Come on”, I thought. “Wake up and smell the narcissism. How can you be so arrogant as to expect total strangers to give a flying fig about the mundane happenings of your mundane life? It’s the 21st century equivalent of popping round the neighbours’ to show off snaps from your latest break in Bognor.” Continue reading

A Quick Word About Wordle

Words words words... an image of words from Joe Reaney's We Like posting for Red C Marketing, Advertising, Online Marketing and Brand Marketing Agency Manchester & London[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 18TH NOVEMBER 2009 BY RED C MAGAZINE]

I like words. They happify me. In fact, they make me tripudiate with joy. I’m one of those people who take far more pleasure in hearing about a crepuscular splodge than actually seeing one; and would much rather read about a spelunking scrimshanker than go and cheer him on. I get a kick out of the English language and, at the risk of being philodoxical, I think everybody should. Language may be fundamentally a means of communication, in the way that food is fundamentally a means of nutrition, but both offer pleasure far beyond their function. Words should be savoured like a sumptuous steak.

Of course, when I try to convince my chums about the myriad delights of mellifluous language, they call me a ponce. Well, until a few weeks back. All of a sudden, they’re casually dropping obscure words into every conversation. It’s frippet this and proprioception that. And while I love to think it’s down to my strategic nagging, I’m afraid it isn’t. They still think I’m a ponce. But they’ve become huge fans of this website called Wordle. Continue reading

The Peaks and Troughs of Celebrity Endorsement


Really, what’s the point of celebrity endorsement? Does anyone actually care what kind of natural yoghurt tickles the tastebuds of a vacuous reality star, or which department store has flip-flops to fit a has-been pop singer? Perhaps, or perhaps not… it really depends who the celebrity is, and whether they appeal to the product’s target market. I, for one, am happy to believe that Peter Kay really does enjoy a cheeky pint of John Smith’s, and that Stephen Fry genuinely relishes “the soothing taste of Twinings”. And I’m also thoroughly convinced that Kerry Katona does – or did – her big shop at Iceland.

Good celebrity endorsements rely on a careful marriage between product and ‘star’. If the collaboration works then both brand and celebrity could reap the rewards, but if the two are utterly mismatched then the association could have a severely damaging effect on product sales, profits and worse – reputations. Continue reading

Defining Your Audience


What do the best advertising campaigns have in common? Well, a good advertisement has to work all the way from conception to execution. It has to really understand the product it is advertising; from its unique selling point and inevitable faults to the competition and market performance. The best advertising campaigns are honed and finessed, skilfully constructed with copy and design that communicates the message without relentlessly screaming in the consumer’s face. But the most important element of a successful campaign is empathy with the buyer. The fact is, an advert can never really succeed unless it gets to know its target audience. Continue reading

A (Very) Brief History of Advertising


Marketing has been around a lot longer than you may think. In fact, commercial messages, lost-and-found advertisements and even political campaigns can be traced back to ancient civilisations around the world; from Greece, Rome and Pompeii to Egypt and Arabia. And things haven’t changed all that much…

Pre-20th Century marketing
Following these old-time pioneers, the ensuing millennia saw the continuation of small-scale marketing communication across the world, mostly effected by street callers who were hired by stallholders to promote their wares. In seventeenth-century England, weekly newspapers began to print classified ads and descriptive pieces on the latest books and medicines available on the market, including their respective costs. The French newspaper La Presse pioneered the concept of paid advertising in 1836, allowing it to lower its cost for consumers while upping its profits; an idea soon copied by newspapers the world over. But it wasn’t until the late nineteenth century, when better technology allowed the printing of colour and illustrations, that mass-marketing really started to take shape. Continue reading