Why Musicians Are Working With Brands to Promote Their Music to the Masses

“My perfect commercial is when it doesn’t smell too commercial,” says Olivier François, FCA’s Paris-born chief marketing officer. “It’s almost more of a product placement – and more entertaining – than a commercial.”

The FCA crew gathered the members of OneRepublic to the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles to shoot a commercial for Jeep. Facing a crowd of genuine fans hired as extras, the pop-rock quintet were filmed performing two new songs, including “Connection,” which is being released this week from Interscope.

“The hardest thing to do in the world is to let people know you exist – or that you have a song that exists,” says Tedder, who has grown weary of the time and travel required to promote a new album. “This is a huge campaign. This song will have as much exposure as you can have for a song in 2018.”

A generation ago, it was common for recording artists to shy away from commercial use of their music. As traditional promotion and revenue streams have been shattered in the last decade, fewer musicians can afford to say no. Tedder says OneRepublic fans are “indifferent” to band’s partnerships with other companies, including Disney, which licensed their 2010 single “Good Life” as a virtual theme song at Walt Disney World and various commercials.can have for a song in 2018.”

“The day of people giving two shits about how they discovered – or where they discovered – a song they liked? Those days are gone,” Tedder says. “I love LCD Soundsystem. I love Radiohead. Would they do a Jeep campaign? Hell no, they wouldn’t dream of it. They’re also precious, and their fan base is way older than ours. That kind of preciousness doesn’t exist with the fans that we have.”

For François, the approach is simple. “He’s not endorsing a Jeep,” he insists of Tedder and OneRepublic. “He’s endorsing himself. And we contribute to endorsing him. It’s a perfect alignment: artist, words, sound. ”

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