Have you heard of Midem? It's the leading annual music industry event in Europe, and it will take place in Cannes, France on June 5-8, 2015. Over 6000 music tech people, managers, agents, labels and publishers come together to exchange information and do business. Midem is a four day, multi-faceted event. It includes a conference of educational talks, exhibition booths, a live music festival, networking events, as well as several competitions for artists, their promotional teams, and music tech startups.
The keynote speaker at Midem this year is Doug Morris, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment. Paul Williams, President and Chairman of ASCAP as well as Danae Ringelmann, Co-Founder and Chief Development Officer of Indiegogo will also deliver keynote speeches.
In attendance will be a variety of entertainment executives such as Antonio "L.A." Reid, Chairman and CEO of Epic Records USA, who will be a judge in the Midem Artist Accelerator program. Many of the Midem speakers and judges are from American companies, although only 14% of Midem participants come from North America. 70% of participants are music industry people, 18% music tech, 7% brand, and only 5% are musicians.
What caught my eye as a music marketing person is a four-year-old contest called the Midem Marketing Competition. It is open to agencies, brands, record labels, production companies, musicians and managers who have made creative contributions to advertising and marketing through music. The entry period for online submissions will close on March 6, 2015
The Midem Marketing Competition "rewards creative ideas driven by music or digital music services, as well as creative ideas in any medium – traditional or digital – which are enhanced by the use of music."
There have been so many ground-breaking music marketing campaigns in the social media and digital space this year, from St. Vincent's spring 2014 retargeting campaign to Jeff Bridges ironically brilliant DreamingWithJeff co-branded Squarespace Superbowl ads to the recent streaming Imagine Dragons Live concert by Target during the Grammys. It's great to see Midem highlighting the creative work being done to advertise and co-brand artists: that's where a lot of the excitement, visibility and real sales are coming from in an industry increasingly dominated by digital marketing campaigns.
“The Midem Marketing Competition recognizes work that pushes creative boundaries and demonstrates ahead-of-the-curve thinking in music, including music marketing and brand collaborations, as well as simply the use of music in advertising campaigns,” said Bruno Crolot, Director of Midem.
Marketing Week, the multi-platform magazine focused on the marketing industry, will select the 10 most groundbreaking campaigns from submissions. The selected participants will be invited to Midem 2015 to present their work in front of a jury comprised of the creative elite across the music industry, including brand marketers and other executives.
The Midem Marketing Competition panel of jurors includes Aymeric Beckmann, Deputy Managing Director, Universal Music & Brands (France), Christophe Caurret, Music Creative Director, BETC POP (France); Lars Düysen, Vice President Brand Partnership & Music Licensing GSA, Sony Music Entertainment (Germany), and John Rash, Global Music Director, Bacardi (UK), with more names due to be added shortly. The jury will evaluate each campaign and select the three winners – Gold, Silver & Bronze – who will be announced on June 7, 2015 at Midem in Cannes.
Last year's winners were, Studio Brussel and Mortierbrigade (Belgium) won Gold with “Make it to Muse”, a campaign to raise awareness about dementia by having victims of the disease perform as Muse’s support act in front of an 18,000-strong audience. Olivia Rzepczynski, Global Business Director at Ogilvy & Mather (UK) was the Silver winner with the “You Need to Hear This” campaign for Philips Sound; and Isabelle Tardieu, Music Strategic Planner at BETC (France) won Bronze with Air France’s “Music in the Sky”.
Here's to seeing more great music advertising and co-branding submissions make it into the top ten this year (although maybe some of those I mentioned above will have to wait until next year)!