Bands and Brands: Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

It’s Grammy season and you know us here at Yalo, looooooove our music. It is part of our DNA. It is part of our methodology. Maybe you’ve heard of our Soul Song creative process that helps brands identify their soul and amp up their brand presence? If not, we should talk!

Now, back to the topic of bands reppin’ brands. This started decades ago. For me, my first memories of this being a ‘thing’ was back in the early 80’s when rap music first emerged. I believe the rap music genre created and capitalized on the opportunity. Do you remember LL Cool J and the Kangol?

Run DMC and Adidas shell toe shoes and track suits were synonymous. You couldn’t hear a Run DMC song and not think Adidas. 

However, for years before and after rap did it, it was considered ‘selling out’ by other bands and artists. They opposed it. Well, the rap pioneers didn’t care. I think they considered it part of the hustle. Just like selling their music mixtapes music out of their trunk and on street corners. By any means necessary. 

But then, the King of Pop did it. He represented Pepsi. Who could forget his hair catching on fire while filming a commercial? Despite the hair and fire thing, he made it ok, he made it cool to put your music with a brand. Since then, many bands and brands have gotten together. These days, just about anybody’s music will show up in a commercial, even the Beatles. There are tastemakers whose sole job at major brands is to seek out the newest, coolest, hippest artists to include in their commercials. What a great job, who wouldn’t want to do that! 

These tastemakers put together unlikely pairs like Motley Crue and Ally Financial using “Kick Start My Heart” in a commercial (see our blog on this). They put together trendy artists with brands that want to look cool and appeal to a younger generation. A few examples that come to mind are:

They are even taking old songs and making them cool again. How about Walmart and Gary Numan’s “Cars”?

But it doesn’t stop there. Michael Jordan pioneered athletes getting into this game too by creating the Air Jordan brand by Nike. The marriage of Jordan and Nike has turned itself into a $1B business in and of itself. Recently, the most notable athlete example is Lebron James and Beats. Not only did Lebron start reppin’ the headphones, but he also became part owner. Now that’s how you double down on yourself! 

So, I ask you this. Who would you pick as your artist or band to represent your brand? Tell us by posting your choice #YaloBandnBrand. Here are some of our Yalo tribe favorites and selections. 

Rock on!