Hilary Davis is an Art Director at SaatchiNY. She also has the distinction of being a pretty fantastic musician (see Bella Koshka for further elaboration on this point). As we mentioned in our post last Friday, we had a few people still on the ground in Austin covering SXSW . . . Hilary was one of those folks. She’s been kind enough to put together her thoughts on a few shows from last week, book-ended by insights into the similarities between music & advertising. Rock & roll.
DEARLING PHYSIQUE – THE BEAUTY BAR – 3/15
The Dearling Physique Sound like Nine Inch Nails fronted by Tricky – with a lead singer who’s not afraid to rock some glitter face paint, wigs, and tribal dance moves – this band has no problem grabbing the attention of passersby. Yet by the end of their set, they had emptied the room. The problem? Their songs lacked melodies.
Like a beautifully shot ad without a headline, they were missing a takeaway. Catching people’s attention is not enough. Audiences and consumers want to walk away humming a riff, or reciting a catchy slogan. Give them something to remember your band, or your product, or your brand by.
DOOMTREE – FLAMINGO CANTINA – 3/16
Doomtree is a collective of hip-hop artists from the Midwest sounds like an unlikely formula for success, but when each member takes the stage singing, rapping, and spitting out their songs, their energy is undeniable. They connect with the crowd because their stories come from their real lives. You can’t fake authenticity.
Audiences/consumers already know when they’re being marketed to, so speak to them honestly. Let your origin story sell your brand (like a group of friends in Minneapolis forming a hip hop collective.) I always think of Burt’s Bees in this case – a guy named Burt selling jars of honey and homemade lip balm at local craft fairs creates a prosperous personal care business.
THE SILENT COMEDY – LUSTRE PEARL – 3/16
Guitar, bass, drums. The familiar elements of a rock band. But The Silent Comedy, this dapper band of vest-clad gentlemen from San Diego, mix in a harmonica and a handlebar mustachioed banjo player. The tried and true rock formula became more interesting. So give the audience what they want, with a twist.
If you’re selling retail clothing, you’re going to show the product on a pretty model. But you can style her in an unexpected way, or shoot her in a setting that juxtaposes her outfit.