MUSIC, FASHION, AND IDENTITY TODAY: PRODUCT PLACEMENTS

Candice continues the discussion on how music and fashion have coincided and influenced one another throughout the decades.

A music artist’s style is one of their most memorable aspects, often defining them from the plethora of other musicians and artists. It is also a lookbook or style guide for many devout listeners and fans, especially those born in generation Y and Z who are also known as Millennials and Gen Z.

Born between 1980 to the 2010s, they have easier access to songs, music videos, and the latest fashion news on their favorite singers and stars through the advanced technology available to them today. Instead of waiting for the next MTV airing, they can easily access YouTube or Google for the newest song and music video. As they are constantly being exposed to this form of media, its influence over them is even greater than it was in the past generations.

Music artists and their videos influence our current fashion trends and styles to such an extent that even our self-identity can be affected. The strategic product placement has such a direct and indirect influence on what we choose to purchase and how we choose to dress and present ourselves.

Today, music artists are regarded as almost god-like creatures, with millions of fans and followers spending thousands to mimic their style. Even the slightest mention or appearance of a brand worn by an artist or featured in a video can boost the revenue of that brand drastically.

Having designed for Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, and many more, Italian shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti said, “These celebrities are great brand ambassadors and embody the spirit of my collections in a unique way. Whatever they wear or post on social media turns into the current season’s must-haves for all their fans and our customers.”

Appealing to a consumer’s ethos is one of the best marketing tools, which is why music is such an effective form of advertisement. When listeners connect with an artist and their music, their emotional attachment develops into a form of trust with the artist. People are more likely to follow and take advice from those that they trust, so this trust leads people to think, “they’re wearing this brand, so it must be a good brand to wear and try”.

Those who listen to more indie or folk music might have a wardrobe of throwback 90s clothes or boho influenced pieces, while those who listen to punk or rock might be decked out in dark tones and leather ensembles. Although this is a general assumption that doesn’t apply to all, it is an apparent trend in the majority of music listeners and lovers. They are more inclined to dress according to their favourite  music genre or artist because that is what and who they can identify with.

Strategic brand product placements can also boost a star’s image and popularity. Prime examples of this would be Lady Gaga and Bjork. Their fashion displays – with Lady Gaga’s meat dress and fire-shooting bra and Bjork’s swan dress, to name a few – kept them in the forefront of almost every notable magazine for years. Paired with their music, it helped establish their images of eccentricity and unconventionality that they are most known for. Also, as mentioned in the previous music article in Issue 16 by Caz McKinnon, Stevie Nicks’ Boho Chic aesthetic and style is an integral characteristic and image of the band Fleetwood Mac.

Artists get to wear the latest designs by major brands and companies while establishing their star status depending on the brands that they represent, and the brands, in turn, get to promote their products through the artists and their videos. Some artists even earn enough revenue from the product placements to pay for a majority, if not all, of the production costs of the music videos.

Brands, such as Givenchy, Nike, and Gucci, are constantly being name-dropped in songs. Listeners, for example, may feel the urge to purchase a pair of Nike shoes as a  result of listening to the songs. The effectiveness of this collaboration is highly sought after, which is why product placements have boomed in the recent decades.

The music is what defines the artist or band, but their fashion and image are often what solidifies the genre or identity of them.

Like the structure of a princess cake, the exterior (consisting of a beautiful, green marzipan cover, pink petals, and piping details) represents the fashion side of things, and the sponge cake layers with the pastry cream and jam represent the music side of things. Both sides combine together to form this beautiful delicacy that is enjoyed by all.
The mutualistic relationship between the two industries has carried them for decades, and it will only continue to develop and improve as more technological advancements are made and new generations are born.

See more from Candace on Instagram at @candace_x9

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