The world’s largest record label has joined with media agency Havas to use native advertising platform MirriAd. The UK startup’s technology lets marketers insert their brands into music videos after they have been filmed, a mechanic both Universal and Havas hope to lift revenue and reach from product placement deals.
It means future videos from artists such as Lady Gaga and Maroon 5 could feature different brands in the same video in order to target specific markets or consumers. A Lady Gaga fan watching the latest video in the UK could see a different brand to a person watching it in Germany, for example.
One of the first campaigns from the deal sees liquer brand Grand Marnier feature on billboards and a stone wall during the latest video from Swedish dance music producer Avicii. Coca-Cola, Citroen, McDonald’s, which are all Havas clients, could use the service in the coming months.
Unlike banner or pre-roll ads, brands will appear native to the music video that would see them superimposed onto objects such as a magazine or on a table. The placements aim to appear as though they have not been digitally added, similar to how publishers have been serving advertiser-funded content online.
The process is automated with advertisers working with Havas to profile the type of consumer they want to reach before being pushed through the ad network. It expands on Vevo’s tie-up with Mirriad, formed earlier this year, which saw brands such as Levi’s slot into music videos hosted on the network.
Advertisers will be convinced to sign up to the service with the promise of faster campaign creation and greater flexibility in terms of targeting fans. Previously, product placement deals needed to be approved prior to a music video being filmed, meaning campaigns took longer to be completed and the media strategies had to be bigger in order to leverage the one brand.
For Universal, the technology allows it to generate more revenue from the same video and increase brand partnerships with the promise of better return-on-investment by aligning them with the right artists.
Advertising has become a key revenue source for record labels and music companies amid declining sales of CDs and the emergence of digital. Pernod Ricard has an ongoing deal with music channel Boiler Room that gives it access to a host of international artists and emerging talent.