The Band As A Billboard: New Mariah Carey CD Booklet To Be Covered With Ads
When Mariah Carey's "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel" is release on Sept. 15, a 34-page mini magazine co-produced with Elle will include the usual liner notes and lyrics, as well as, ads from Elizabeth Arden, Angel Champagne, Carmen Steffen's, Le Métier de Beauté and the Bahamas Board of Tourism. If things go well, label Island Def Jam hopes to do booklet deals for Rihanna, Bon Jovi, Kanye West and others.
“The idea was really simple thinking: ‘We sell millions of records, so you should advertise with us,’” Antonio “L.A.” Reid, chairman, Island Def Jam Music Group told Brandweek. “My artists have substantial circulation—when you sell 2 million, 5 million, 8 million, that’s a lot of eyeballs. Most magazines aren’t as successful as those records.". Carey was apparently receptive to to concept because the ads for her image. “I wouldn’t want to do Mariah Carey and Comet abrasive cleaner,” Reid said, laughing. “I wanted things that really reflected her taste.”
But the real reasons behind the deal are more than just about matching bands to brands with advertising.
With CD sales dropping, labels a desperate to find new revenue sources, and one of the places that music still has real value is with brands who see association with artists as a clearer path valuable consumers. Though the money from these ads could be substantial, the real win for labels may be access to new retails outlets.
“We don’t have music retailers any more, so a smart consumer products company that understands the value in distributing music is going to restore the vitality of our business,” Reid speculated. “If we distribute music properly and if it’s done tastefully, it could be a huge profit center for all of us. That is the missing link – we need partnerships.” Already WalMart has committed to merchandise Carey's new CD alongside her signature Arden fragrance (who have an ad in the CD booklet) just outside the music aisle, as well as, display them together in the beauty department.
But while Carey fans may or may not care about ad in the CD booklet they pad $15 plus for, fans of other artists may. And where does it end? Audio ads between the tracks? Flash ads before you enter and artist's web site? Columbia Records looked foolish last year when Hypebot placed "Major Labels Are Obsolete" ads via Google on their main label pages; and they ultimately dropped the ad program. Will this latest venture into the band as the billboard be worth the price?
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