The BT Digital Music Awards 2010, which took place at the Roundhouse on Thursday evening, showcased and celebrated not only some of the best musical talent in the UK – such as Tinne Tempah, JLS and Cheryl Cole - but also some of the most innovative marketing and promotional efforts from the music industry.
Gorillaz scooped the artist promotion of the year award for the innovative Gorillaz 'Escape to Plastic Beach' games, which highlighted how integral branded gaming is to the music industry in driving deeper traction within the rising casual gaming community now being encouraged by the likes of the iPhone and iPad.
Pendulum took the award for app of the year with their highly invasive 'Witchcraft Experiment' Facebook app, which gave the impression it had hijacked a user’s Facebook page. A giant roving sinister eye appeared on their profile, as the app took over wall posts from a user’s friends as the track played. The concept of playing with the fear over user privacy was an effective ploy, and the campaign managed to rack up large volumes of users as it was actively shared across the social networking site.
Finally, there was some major acknowledgment for brand endorsements within music, with 'Nokia presents Rihanna Live' named as event of the year, trumping the likes of Glastonbury and Sonisphere. The celebrity partnership ensured that Nokia customers managed to receive intimate access to free live events featuring one of the industries biggest and most in demand artists.
As digital innovation rolls on apace in the music and marketing industries it is worth noting how intimacy - whether it is playing games as the actual Gorillaz characters, having a band infiltrate your personal life via Facebook or getting to within touching distance of a major artist - is increasingly the must have touch point for reaching music fans today.
The old industry was all about push marketing. Then the digital revolution turned it on its head to become all about pull, as music fans simply took what they wanted. Now, as we are about to step into another decade, the playing field is leveling out and it becomes more about meeting in the middle, where sharing, relationships and intimacy between brand, band and fan are paramount.