William

Will.I.Am has been outspoken of his support for partnering with as many brands as possible, advertising the likes of Coca-Cola, Budweiser and now Lexus. The Black Eyed Peas star has been involved in the design process of the new Lexus NX, due for release later this year.

This partnership has included the release of a single and video for a track called Dreamin’ About the Future’. In truth the video unveils less of a brand partnership and more an all-out advertising campaign with a new Will.I.Am song thrown in.

The video is backlit using the car headlights, the lines of the car form the very concept of the video and the lyrics of the track reference ‘thinking about technology’ and ‘dreaming and thinking about possibilities.’

In a statement Will.I.Am said, “Whatever I do, I want it to be striking,”. He then added “I want to innovate and revolutionise, my partnership with Lexus on the Striking Angles campaign is no different.”

This may be a new marketing concept in terms of how inextricably the product is linked with the music, but for that very reason the campaign feels contrived.

It is often the subtle ideas in music and brand partnerships which resonate most strongly with audiences and there is no subtlety here.

“I composed music for it, took this song, ‘Dreaming About The Future,’ and re-imagined it for a Lexus spot,” Will.I.Am stated, “And then we figured out a way to collaborate beyond just a traditional endorsement.”

Most brands want to associate with artists to give their product a level of cool and this could readily have been achieved through product placement without the car being quite so prominent in the video and track.

At last year’s Midem conference Will.I.Am gave an impassioned keynote speech in which he encouraged artists to increasingly work with brands to develop a more profitable business model and for artists to think more like money-making business entities.“We’re in a sad state right now, “ he said, “where the artists that are selling, I don’t even know what we’re selling to be honest with you, because 99 cent downloads, that’s what we’re selling.”

Ever the optimist Will.i.am then added “I really encourage every single person in the music industry to try and compete not with other record companies, but compete with Samsung, compete against LG, compete against the big ones!”