Chicks On Speed & Creatives On Music

22 Sept. 2017 @ Angie's Nightclub

Speaker: Milena Ivkovic (Artist Consulting & Promotion, Milena Ivkovic, DE), Willy Kaussen (Creative Director, Scholz & Friends Hamburg, DE), Alexander Schillinsky (Director Integrated Production, Kolle Rebbe Hamburg, DE), Guido Schulz (Owner, No Limits Music, DE)
Moderator: Sascha Hanke (Partner & Executive Creative Director, Kolle Rebbe Hamburg, DE)

Go to programme here.

Alexander Schillinsky, Milena Ivkovic, Sascha Hanke (all Kolle Rebbe), Guido Schulz (No Limits Music) and Willy Kaussen (Scholz & Friends Hamburg) talked about music in advertising during a panel on the last day of Reeperbahn Festival.

Kaussen said that no matter how strong a company, 51% of its advertising effect belongs to music. However, there’s a lot more talking in current ads compared to the 80s, because they contain a lot of product information, he explained. Longer ads, such as those in the fashion industry, still offer room for music, which can only have an affect if it can be heard for more than 20 seconds. But many companies prefer short spots on rotation to one long spot, because people might miss it.

Like in film or TV, budgets for music are usually tight in advertising. In many cases, one has to choose from music libraries or use GEMA-free music. In addition, it’s hard to define the price of music. “I think it goes beyond chart success, it’s about originality,” said Schillinsky. As far as pricing is concerned, the business feels like the Wild West and there’s a lot of reliance on gut feeling.

Since it can be hard tracking down all the rights holders in any given song, budget information can fluctuate from day to day, which makes it even harder to calculate. Schillinsky would therefore appreciate it if the music industry was “more transparent, much, much faster and also more reliable here and there.”

Schulz replied that he’d like to see the same reliability from advertisers, especially when it comes to agreed budgets. In many cases they resemble “a joke” and he’s been fed with hopes of a follow-up commission that sometimes never materializes.

Ivkovic added: “What’s the significance of music in advertising? The same as it is in society today. It’s very difficult. You can stream music on YouTube for free, and there are bands that charge €280 a ticket to see live. It’s a very arbitrary market, and this is reflected in advertising.”

When it comes to working with brands, the status and genre of an artist determines what the cooperation will look like. Conflicts arise when a brand tries too hard to tell the artist what to do. “Artists think of themselves as artists, not as service providers,” said Schillinsky.

One of the brands that has historically worked well with music is Deutsche Telekom, according to Ivkovic. Red Bull Studios and Burberry’s Acoustic Sessions are other examples. If a brand really asks the question of where the power of music and of the people creating the music lies, a long-term partnership can be established.

Not everybody is a good candidate, added Schulz. Nobody thought Jürgen Klopp to be an artist, and he is rather perceived as a worker. It’s the same with George Clooney.

Seeing artists agreeing to just about anything just for money makes Schulz mad. Referencing Fanta 4’s engagement with Toyota, he said: “It is so insane and fake and a waste of money, it never fails to make me sick. Just because the head of marketing promised 10 VIP tickets for their next concert, he got a million-Euro deal instead of using that money wisely.”

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