Claire Beale: The music business gives itself a good Shake

Secure in the knowledge that it has chosen a much-loved, iconic track for its new ad campaign, which debuts tonight taking up the entire centre break of Corrie, The Co-op is giving music in ads a good kicking.

Having signed up Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" for its next TV commercial, the Co-op has gleefully commissioned a YouGov survey into the worst music in ads. Sheilas' Wheels didn't stand a chance.

No surprise that its "bonza car insurance deals" track was voted the biggest turkey. Though what's the betting you'll find yourself humming it later today?

Halifax ("who gives you extra?") and Shake 'n' Vac ("to put the freshness back") were also voted stinkers. It's a very silly survey, designed purely to generate a bit of fluffy PR for the Co-op ad. After all, Shake 'n' Vac had the sort of traction advertisers crave, which is why we're still talking about it 20 years after it ran.

The survey does, however, illustrate the potent combination of music and brands; advertisers know the right soundtrack can make a good ad great, and even turn a bad one into a cult (Shake 'n' Vac again).

It's a well-trodden commercial path. Bands can give ads cut-through in the commercially cluttered, fragmented media world. And brands can give bands a level of exposure that can transform their earning power. But this relationship is moving into a whole new phase with the growing recognition that advertising might be able to throw the struggling music industry a lifeline.

As the economics of music falter, record companies have been turning to advertising agencies to help to develop new revenue streams and find new ways of connecting with consumers.

In a climate where an estimated 90 per cent of digital music downloads are illegal or free, and album sales are dropping on average by 10 per cent a year, monetising music has become a do-or-die situation.

As a result, some interesting alliances are being formed. Last year Groove Armada, fresh out of a five-year deal with Sony BMG, chose to eschew traditional record companies in favour of releasing music through an alliance with Bacardi-Martini, brokered by the agency Euro RSCG KLP.

The GA duo performed at Bacardi-branded events and worked with its ad agency, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, on the soundtracks for Bacardi commercials.

Similarly, Procter & Gamble and Def Jam Records have launched a US music company called Tag Records, named after P&G's Tag deodorant. It creates a perfect brand/band union. Buy a Tag music pack containing two body sprays and one deodorant and you get exclusive online access to hip hop music from Q Da Kid.

You might be wondering where such alliances leave artistic credibility. Read the blurb on the Tag Records website for guidance: "Whether you're making beats, rhyming or just grinding, make sure you stay fresh. Because when you smell good, it's that much easier to Make History." It's not subtle, but then artistic credibility counts for little if the alternative is waiting tables.

Yet if adland is to be the music industry's white knight, partnerships have to go deeper than bands and brands simply piggybacking each other. The whole record company/artist model needs re-evaluating.

EMI recently appointed the ad agency Adam & Eve to explore revenue models and develop audiences for its artists. It wants a more sophisticated understanding of its artists as brands. All this is core ad agency territory, but far from second nature to record companies.

Turning this new understanding into revenue-generating channels, however, is imperative. So agencies are being called in to offer advice on commercial ideas from selling access to exclusive content to distribution models. If that process also results in musical alliances, all the better.

What's certain is that if the chemistry's right and the consumer fit is comfy, the band/brand formula could be a lifeline for both parties. I wonder if Dylan fans would agree.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Professional Sales Trainee - B2B

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: First things first - for the av...

Recruitment Genius: Account Executive - Graduate / Entry Level

£22000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital advertising infras...

Guru Careers: PR Account Director / SAM

£50 - 60k (DOE) + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: A PR Account Director / SAM ...

Guru Careers: Research Analyst / Business Insight Analyst

£32 - £37K + extensive benefits: Guru Careers: Research Analyst / Business Ins...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral