Building a successful brand certainly takes a ton of dedication and hard work, especially in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Operating your owned media, developing smart social media campaigns, and running through the gauntlet of traditional advertising such as radio and TV are all publicity strategies that can be successful…perhaps…with a bit of luck.

What if we told you that it might be possible to associate your brand with a celebrity in a way so that exposure is continuous and constant? Whereas a social media mention is often a short-lived moment, getting your brand into a celebrity music video can give your brand a long-term connection and association to a certain celebrity, thus helping to improve brand awareness and capture new customers. Below, we’ll explain how your brand can successfully get into a music video. 

The Benefits of Brand Placement in a Music Video

Whereas most celebrity advertisements are focused on direct endorsement, approval, or recommendation of a given brand or product by a celebrity, brand placement in a music video works a bit differently. Most brand placements in a music video will only last for a couple of seconds at best, and there will certainly not be a direct mention by the musician of your brand (Run DMC and their song “My Adidas” is one of the few exceptions). 

However, brand placement in a music video does have the unique ability to ‘subliminally’ influence consumers. In some cases, the viewer might not even be “aware” that they are seeing your brand, though repeatedly watching that video will gradually lead to a greater brand awareness. This subliminal influence will liken your brand to the given celebrity musician. This subconscious psychological influence of brand placement in a music video will lead consumers to believe that purchasing that product that is promoted by a celebrity they admire, will allow them to emulate the celebrity’s desired traits. 

KandyPens, a leader in the growing vape industry, is a prime example of a brand that was able to quickly grow their brand awareness in a competitive market through successful brand placement in a music video. KandyPens first appeared in a Chris Brown and Tyga music video, and have subsequently been successfully placed in dozens of other music videos. In a an interview with Booking Agent Info, KandyPens founder Graham Gibson says that “the videos, they play every day — like commercials.” This repeated exposure has been an extremely successful publicity strategy launching KandyPens to the top of the vaping industry. 

Who to Contact to Get Your Brand in a Music Video

If you feel that your brand might benefit from having a product placed in a music video, you obviously need to first know who to contact. Of course, the first step is to narrow down your choices for the celebrity musician you want to work with, prioritizing those celebrities that seem like the most natural fit for the image your brand presents to the public. 

Once you have a list of potential celebrities, there are three main channels through which you might potentially be able to negotiate brand placement in an upcoming music video. 

  1. Artist Management: Contacting an artists manager is the most common and straightforward path for negotiating brand placement in an upcoming music video. Music video production companies charge the artists for the process of filming and producing a video, and the final bill is certainly not cheap. While major artists will have their record labels or managers foot the bill for music video production, smaller and upcoming artists might willingly jump at the opportunity to have several small brands “contribute” to the cost of production through negotiating a brand placement fee. To go this route, you need to first find out when a given artist has a music video coming up, and then contact their management. You can use our celebrity contact list to find out who the management is for an artist. Music Videos are typically shot in advance of an album release, so if you hear that an artist is working on an album, this would be an ideal time.
  2. Record Labels of Music Labels: Your brand might also consider reaching out directly to a specific music label. The advantage of this is that record labels tend to have hundreds of different artists on their rosters, thus increasing potential musicians your brand can partner with. However, the record label will only be able to offer recommendations to the artists they work with, as the artists management will likely still have the final word on any potential brand placement.
  3. Middle Agencies: Lastly, your brand might also be able to negotiate brand placement in an upcoming music video through a middle agency. This was actually the initial strategy utilized by KandyPens, until they realized it was cheaper to go directly to the artists management. These agencies will charge a hefty premium for making this connection.

Negotiating Terms of Placement

Once the celebrity is on board with the potential brand placement and fees are determined, your brand should have the opportunity to work with a director to determine how the brand will be placed in the video. While you shouldn’t expect several minutes of exposure or lyrics in the song dedicated to your brand, there are certain elements that can be negotiated between your brand, the director/producer of the music video, and the celebrity representative. These elements include: 

  • Time of exposure: Obviously, the longer your brand is visible in the music video, the better. Most brand placements will have a minimum of 10 second exposure (though you could certainly negotiate for more). Also, having your brand appear at different intervals throughout the music video is generally preferable to a one-time scene exposure. 
  • The importance of clear logo exposure: You need your brand’s logo to be clearly visible to viewers to maximize the impact. Talk with the celebrity rep and music director about the best ways to have this done in a natural way.
  • Product or brand visibility: The best possible option for brand placement in a music video is for the product to be directly used, touched, or handled by the celebrity, as they are the obviously the focal point of the music video. 

Behind the Scenes and Extra Benefits 

Successfully placing your product in a music video is only the beginning of the battle. Finding innovative ways to utilize this influential form of celebrity publicity is the key to garnering increased brand awareness.  One way to do this is to post and repost the music video (once released) on your brand’s social media pages, making sure to draw specific attention to the exact minute and second when your brand appears. 

Also, you can negotiate with the celebrity representative and music video director behind the scenes access during taping. You might be able to film (or reutilize) your own behind the scenes exclusive content to repurpose on your social media accounts and on your landing page. KandyPens, for example, has an entire tab on their website showcasing the dozens of music videos they have appeared in, “as seen by over 3 billion views,”. 

A Few Examples of Other Successful Brand Placements in Music Videos 

While KandyPens is certainly one successful story of how small companies can leverage music videos for brand growth, there are dozens of other examples. In the video “We Can’t Stop” Miley Cyrus´s bright lips are a focal point throughout the video. In several places during the video, she can be seen applying EOS Lip Balm, thus offering viewers a not-so-subtle endorsement for this leading makeup product. On their website, EOS obviously mentions this celebrity mention and even goes so far as to unofficially nickname the color Cyrus used as the “We can’t stop lip balm.” Another prominent example of successful brand placement in music videos can be seen in the Jennifer Lopez video titled “Papi.” This video actually features several different brand placements, including Blackberry, Fiat, Planet Love Match, Tous, and Crown Royal. This goes to show that even high profile celebrities are often open to subtly using brand placements in their music videos.