It's music to ears of marketers

August 22, 2004|By Stephen Kiehl

A few facts about brand names in pop music, from Agenda Inc., a San Francisco-based marketing company:

The most branded song so far this year is Twista's "Overnight Celebrity," featuring nine brand references: Apple Bottom Jeans, BCBG, Bebe, Gucci, Jimmy Choo (below), Marc Jacobs, MTV, Range Rover and Roberto Cavalli.

Fashion brands got more mentions in the first six months of this year (200 total) than any other category. The leader among fashion brands was Gucci (26 references), closely followed by Nike (24).

Cadillac made a big leap forward among auto brands this year, with 41 mentions in the first six months, compared to four at the same time last year. Rolls Royce was a distant second, at 26.

Hennessy, a cognac, has shot up the charts this year with 39 mentions, making it the most-referenced beverage brand. Far behind were Seagram's Gin and Cristal, with 11 mentions each.

Consumers are sophisticated about which brands fit which artists. "50 Cent should be rapping about Mercedes and Gucci," says Lucian James of Agenda Inc. "However, if Missy Elliott starts rapping about Swiffers and AT&T, consumers are going to be suspicious."

Only one Top 20 non-hip-hop song referenced a brand this year. It was Jessica Simpson's "With You," with this line: "The real me is a Southern girl with her Levis on and an open heart."

Most bizarre brand reference of last year: Eminem's "Superman," which went, "Put anthrax on your Tampax / and slap you till you can't stand."

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