Seems brand affiliation is a hot ticket for big hits - everybody’s talking jingles this week.
Country singer Jason Aldean released his new single Take A Little Ride last week, and on Tuesday Billboard reported that he is making a small, but otherwise significant alteration to the lyrics in order to accomodate his new endorsement deal with Coors. If you think this makes him a sell-out, you’re probably not aware of just how many songs and artists are affiliated with brand names.
Even before endorsement, the release has been a success. The song quickly jumped to top spot on the iTunes all-genre Singles chart and Aldean’s numbers are up overall - with close to a 40 percent boost in Rdio plays, a 24 percent increase in Wikipedia views, and about 45,000 plays on MySpace in the week following.
Not a Country fan? Another song you will probably recognize is Calvin Harris’ Let’s Go, feat. Ne-Yo. Officially released in April, Let’s Go got play as part of Pepsi’s campaign during the European Cup. The music video has been viewed on Vevo more than 9 million times since May, more than 750,000 people were talking about the Scottish music producer on Facebook in the month following the release, a 32 percent increase from the month before, and Harris’ music was played more than half a million times on Last.fm in that same time period. Comparing Vevo views for Let’s Go with his overall views in the first few weeks after release, shows that it accounts for about half, but follows a very similar trajectory.
While no one paid him to do it, another big-named Country star, Toby Keith, had a somewhat unexpected smash hit with Red Solo Cup last year. While many would likely agree that the household staple is indeed “the best receptacle for BBQs, tailgates, fairs and festivals,” few could have predicted how quickly the flippant ditty would climb the charts, reaching number 1 on Billboard’s Country Digital Songs in December, and with an unedited video version seeing in excess of 1 million Vevo views in just 2 weeks following release.
Brands and music go hand in hand. Endorsement deals that involve using tracks from an artist’s repertoire or even bands dabbling in the jingle scene is nothing new in the industry. Either as a venue for pervasive airplay that helps to boost your fan base, or as a source of funds for up-and-coming bands that are struggling to make ends meet (or in Toby Keith’s case a sheer admiration for Red Solo Cups), it’s hard to turn down a good deal when you see one.
And there is no shame in it - while it was never going to be their biggest hit, even the great Rolling Stones created this tune for Rice Krispies back in the mid-60s.
Liv Buli is the resident data journalist for music analytics company Next Big Sound. Buli is a graduate of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and her work has appeared in Newsweek Daily Beast, The New York Times Local East Village, Westchester Magazine and more.