Tamer Rustum - Brand experience manager, Ear to the Ground
Lucy Aitken - Operations manager, XYZ
Julia Bruns - Director, Our Kid Brother
Belinda Rampton - Senior account manager, GMR Marketing
Dominic Franks - Director, The Persuaders
How do you choose the music to play at a brand experience?
TR: It's all about building a soundtrack to help intensify the experience and prove that the brand understands the fan. If we were activating at a festival, we would focus on everything from the profile of the audience and the personality of the brand to who was playing on the main stage.
LA: It really depends on the event and the demographic of guests. At a Nike event, for example, we would use something current and upbeat that motivated guests. If it were a drinks reception, something with minimal lyrics and a non-offensive melody.
JB: Music can reflect a brand's personality, so you need to understand the brand, audience and tone of the event. Is the music content simply to create a low-fi background ambience or is it a DJ set/live stage performance creating a high-energy, fun experience for a brand festival activation?
BR: It often comes down to the client and their brand. As much as I'd love to choose the tunes for every brand activation or hospitality programme I manage, this can't always be the case. In a lot of instances music is an inherent part of a brand, a way to express itself and engage with its audience.
DF: Good experiential is about a brand journey and music can enhance this, so our choices are based on the needs of each event.
If it's a fashion show, the choices are usually down to the designer and their themes.
If we're developing a playlist for a pop-up, we have to consider the expected guests, time of day, atmosphere and theme.
The song I wish I could play at an event is...
TR: Mic Check Remix (F***in Widda Team) by Kano, featuring Ghetts and Demon. We spent a lot of 2015 working with grime artistes, but the lyrics of a few tracks might offend some clients. The above is an amazing track, but I can't see it going down too well at a product launch for a financial services brand.
LA: I Know There's Gonna Be by Jamie XX, because it's such a fun song and gets me excited for summer.
JB: Strings of Life by Derrick May. Needs no introductions. Quite simply the best dance-floor track of all time.
BR: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift is a great song to play at an event. You just can't help but want to dance when the song is playing.
DF: I would love to see hundreds of glamorous dancers doing high-kicks as they descended an illuminated staircase while Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit was playing.
The best song I've played at an event was...
TR: Jump Around by House of Pain.
We were helping Muller Rice bring its new 'Remix' product to life with the biggest bear in hip-hop - Tasty B. It was always a guaranteed banger to get the party started.
LA: It's not really a song, but the best music moment would be when Lord of the Mics and Rinse battled on a football pitch in the middle of Nike Town, which caused the crowd to go mental.
JB: You Give a Little Love by Paul Williams, from the Bugsy Malone movie.
BR: Hey Ya! by Outkast at the Sunglass Hut London Fashion Weekend AW15, which took place at Somerset House.
DF: Legs by ZZ Top - used for a female razor launch event.
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