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Music can be a great platform for brands to communicate with their audiences. Coca-Cola, for example, is one such brand which is behind a number of successful music IPs like Coke Studio. It also recently released its new original song called, ‘Memu Aagamu’.

The song, as of today, has more than 30 million views on YouTube and is also available on every digital streaming platform. 

The song:

Speaking about the idea behind the song, Aayushman Sinha, Founder of Represent- the agency behind ‘Memu Aagamu’, said that Coca-Cola wanted Gen Z to connect with the brand. “Coke Studio is more tasteful and for a more defined audience. However, the only brief we received this time was to make it younger that stays in line with the brand’s global message of collaboration.”

The project has been managed by WPP – OpenX and Motion Content Group along with Universal Music Group for Brands, India.

How should brands navigate music? 

Sinha further spoke about how for branded content to do well, the brand has to be very insightful and thoughtful. As per him, it eventually comes down to what the brand wants to communicate. 

“We see other brands trying to fit in the brand name or taglines every now and then. Phone brands sing about battery lives, speed etc. However, the consumer is never going to enjoy it because why would they sing a song about the battery? The branded content that does well is because the brief is open and where the brand or the product is more of a surrogate at most,” said Sinha. 

“If you see this music video, you will just see a Coke bottle in the background and nothing else. For a brand like Coke which is so well established, this kind of recall is enough. People need to treat branded content in a much more tasteful manner,” he added as an explanation. 

Sinha gave an example of the song ‘Jalebi Baby’ - where Zomato had integrated themselves - as a great example of a branded content piece. “The only integration was a delivery boy handing over a parcel. People loved it, the song flew in really well and the brand benefited from it,” he stated. 

Several brands have taken the ‘brand anthem’ route to integrate music. However, the audience response remains lukewarm for the majority of such attempts, barring a few.

Speaking about this, Sinha said creating new music is not always required. “What happens in the West is that brands are licensing a lot of music that is already out there. For example, Samsung used Dynamite by BTS because they thought that song fit in really well for the brand. When you try to write a new song altogether, everyone is trying to build on the various talking points just to meet the brief.” 

How ‘Memu Aagamu’ came to life? 

According to Sinha, the song is based on Coca-Cola’s global philosophy of collaboration. Hence, it features Hindi singer Arman Malik, K-pop group TRI.BE, and actor Allu Arjun. The lines of the song are in multiple languages, such as Hindi, Korean, Tamil and English.

Sinha said, “The process started a year back in September. Coca-Cola reached out to us to understand what is happening in the music industry. So, a lot of time went into understanding how Gen Z is currently listening to music. We got some interesting insights like on a day; Gen Z consumes eight to twelve different kinds of genres. They are open to the idea of collaboration and are language-agnostic. This is why we are seeing K-pop and Latin music gain popularity in India.” 

“We always knew it had to be Hindi and Korean, but as the process of the songwriting went forward, the English and Tamil patches came in very organically,” he added. 

“We built on the entire project and onboarded the artists. The Motion Content Group from WPP were the project managers; they were leading all the things related to the visuals. Dharma 2.0 did the music video and director Punit Malhotra was the producer. Universal Music came on board as music distributors,” he explained. 

Sinha said while the song has crossed millions of views, they were not actively chasing virality. “The idea was never virality, the idea was that if a consumer is hearing the song, they should want to get up and do some form of activity whether that's just popping their head, or dancing. It's called upliftment in their terminology and Coca-Cola wanted people to feel uplifted when they hear the song. We obviously have seen it go viral because it's a great song,” he stated. 

What’s in store for Represent? 

Talking about what Represent is working on next, Sinha explained that they have three main business verticals- talent management, consulting and a touring wing - which holds tours for artists. 

“However, we are also entering the content creator space and will soon be managing some of the best creators of the country. We have a number of music projects lined up and some of them are in the original content space. Some of them are also in the touring space. We have a great project coming with Meta as well,” revealed Sinha.