P&G Enters Music Business

P&G Enters Music Business

The makers of TAG men’s deodorant and body spray are looking to capitalize on a unique marketing strategy. Procter & Gamble (P&G) has partnered with Island Def Jam to launch TAG Records in an effort to reach TAG’s target market—the young male consumer. Grammy award-winning music producer Jermaine Dupri has been tapped as president of the New York-based venture that will focus on hip-hop music.

According to global business outlook research firm Global Industry Analysts, Inc., worldwide deodorant sales are expected to top $10.5 billion by 2010. “TAG Records is a part of the TAG brand’s new initiative to build relevance with the urban market,” says Jay Gooch, external relations manager for TAG. “Via TAG Records, we are able to resonate with its audience beyond their passion for music and further integrate into the lifestyle choices by combining personal brand marketing with music insight.”

The TAG and Island Def Jam Music Group partnership was forged and managed by New York-based ACME Brand Content Co., according to Gooch. “In an industry that is constantly evolving, we were looking for non-traditional partners and innovative strategies to redefine how we reach our audience.” The cross-branding will be developed through advertisements, not music, he adds.

Artists from TAG Records will potentially be used in commercials and print advertisements for the products. According to Ramona Wright, principal in L.A.-based Mozaic Media + Communications, this will further solidify the company relationship with its prime consumer. “Procter & Gamble’s launch of a hip-hop music label elevates product placement to the next plateau, which is a synergetic branded entertainment opportunity for TAG Body Spray and Island Def Jam Music Group,” she says. “Declining viewership of network television and music sales makes such partnerships ideal for record labels and lifestyle brands seeking more innovative ways to sell artists and products to consumers.”

Further, this audience is “acculturated to the consumerism promoted in most hip-hop music videos. The objectives for an effective branded entertainment campaign are to be cool, integrated, and seamless,” Wright says.

Media strategist and branding expert Karen Bass Taylor, of New York-based TaylorMade Media L.L.C., says the partnership could help boost sagging records sales, especially if P&G makes a long-term commitment to the music industry. “P&G is promising a huge marketing budget for the artists…and if [the concept] is packaged smartly this deal will be lucrative for P&G,” she says. “But getting into the music industry (long term), especially, the hip-hop game is an ambitious goal given the (present) climate of the music industry and declining sales of hip-hop artists.” She says the real question is how committed is P&G to the respective signed artists and cultivating long term careers?

For Dupri, the concept of combining two unrelated products was attractive to him. “This is two companies from two different worlds,” he says. “[But] it brings a lot of excitement back to the music industry, especially on the business side, because I find that people who run other big money industries look at ours like it’s a joke. [P&G] is putting an incredible