This blog follows on from the previous one. Okay, let’s give away a trade secret here, which is really not that hard to figure out. How do you extend the life of a music brand, and milk it like the cash cow that it is, for all it is worth? You turn it into a stage play or a movie, or better still, even both.
Let’s look at 3 interesting case studies: Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia!, and One Chance.
Connecting music with a story is a very smart way to extend the life of several brands: each song is a brand, each of the albums is a brand, the group or solo artist is a brand, each of the members is a brand (in the case of Jersey Boys, most notably Franki Valli, the lead singer, and Bob Gaudio, the main songwriter), and of course the show itself becomes a brand (as does the movie) – and all of the brands are interwoven. And like the smart guys of ABBA and their peeps, the show/movie has extended the life of the song brands and the group brand, while creating new brands (like the stage musical and movie Mamma Mia!).
Of course the difference between ABBA and the Four Seasons is that the former is a fictitious story based around the songs of the group (and it never really worked for me as either a concept or a believable story), while the latter is a real-life story based around the timeline of the group, with the songs forming milestones along the way (this works better for me). You extend the life of the brand and introduce it to a whole new market, thus extending its earning potential.
And you have to emulate the people who decide to cash in on the interest behind the songs and the people, like the slippery Simon Cowell. Seizing the opportunity to turn an interesting story into a chance to make more cash, Cowell took the story of Paul Potts, the initial winner of talent show Britain’s Got Talent (the lame duck SA version is so weak by comparison – can’t we come up with something original for a change?), and turned it into a movie called One Chance about his struggle to gain the self-confidence to follow his dream. I loved it, and it was very inspiring.
So, well done people. Give praise where it is due. Note to self: start stringing my own songs together into a workable story, and then get it onto the stage. Let me go buy that cash cow…