ACME Nominated for Top Music-Brand Firm by NARIP

The National Association of Record Industry Professionals found it in their heart to include us in their recent ‘Best in the Biz’ survey. We were nominated for Top Music-Brand Firm. We’d like to extend a big, sincere ‘Thank You’ to whoever nominated us, and of course, to anyone that votes for us. We are honored!

See the survey here.

We May Be Biased, But We’d Say… Of The New Millennium!

In 2008, the worlds of music and branding aligned in a unique and resounding way. This resulted in several noteworthy initiatives, partnerships, ventures, etcetera, as well as some incredibly cool track usages for broadcast TV and Web advertisements.

Sadly for some music industry hopefuls, the branding equation wasn’t the savior they had sought. But as the music industry continues to evolve into a digital- and media-led business, branding remains a vital way for those who create and produce the music to monetize it.

Here are my top 5 list of newsworthy branded-music initiatives and top 5 track choices for 2008:

1. TAG Records. In April, Procter & Gamble partnered with the record label Island Def Jam Music Group to launch a recording imprint tied to its TAG men’s deodorant and body spray. Jermaine Dupri, the Atlanta-based rapper and music producer, was named president. Brand-alliance guru David Caruso of Acme Branded Content brokered the deal. Hopefully, his music will meet his and (even) consumer expectations. Red Bull, Mountain Dew, Levi’s and others are beginning to take on the role of nouveaux-record labels.

Read the full article here.

First of all… THANKS to AdWeek for thinking of TAG Records. The project is incredibly special to us at ACME so we love seeing the TAG movement receive recognition.

To see if the music meets consumer’s expectations, wait until the new year for the big noise, check Q’s myspace now, or google’em.

The Denver Nuggets really like him. They made his song their official song for the season and play it during player introductions:

Launch of the I AM KING Website.

What a fantastic project!   It was a bit of a whirlwind, but we made some new friends and are looking forward to the future!

Visit the site!

ADWEEK Profile: ACME’s David Caruso

Check Profile: David Caruso

Branded Entertainment x Adweek


Excerpt:

Branded entertainment, in general, is primed for high growth. According to PQ Media’s “Branded Entertainment Marketing Forecast: 2008-2012” — released before the financial crisis hit Wall Street and beyond — the sector is expected to reach 13.9 percent growth this year, with ad expenditures projected at approximately $25 billion. Last year, ad spending on the sector was about $22 billion. The report suggests double-digit growth through 2012, and notes ad spending will likely surpass $40 billion.

Read the full article – which features input from ACME’s David Caruso – here.

Dedicated to My First Love: Hip-Hop

“…Told her if she got an image and a gimmick
That she could make money, and she did it …
Now I see her in commercials, she’s universal
She used to only swing it with the inner-city circle
Now she be in the ’burbs lookin’ rock and dressin’ hip
…who I’m talkin bout y’all is hip-hop”

– Common

Loving hip hop, in the past, meant following the newest trends, as well as to perform acapella renditions of classic hip hop songs with my friends. It meant observing and sometimes following urban fashion trends. It meant religiously listening to Hot 97 to be up on the newest songs, and avidly watching Free and AJ host BET’s 106th and Park to learn the latest dances. It meant disobeying my mother’s wishes to switch to a musical genre that didn’t frequently use offensive language. I loved hip-hop so much I fantasized of acquiring an internship and eventually landing a job at a major record label such as Def Jam or Atlantic Records. The internship I got instead exceeded any daydream I had, let alone any expectations I had for the internship. So like Common, I took loving hip-hop to the next level the summer of ’08; I committed to her.

My desire to be closer to hip-hop led me to Acme Content Co, a branding company. The opportunity wasn’t necessarily what I had in mind, but I was willing to give it a shot. I was told that corporate giant P&G, was looking to successfully market their body spray, TAG, by differentiating the product from the competing body spray. P&G and its companies observed that there were no body sprays that targeted young, urban males. P&G and Acme agreed that the best way to successfully market to urban, young males was through hip-hop. In order to believably market to this demographic, they decided to team up with the living hip-hop legend, and coincidentally, the president of Island Def Jam, Jermaine Dupri to start a record label from the ground up. These perceptive observations led to TAG Records’ birth, a little before I signed on to work for the internship. I started working just as they were deciding between two acts. They finally agreed on the lyricist Q da Kid. I must admit, I was fairly impressed with the decision to sign Q, because the other act would’ve been a much safer choice because of the whole N.E.R.D./ Lupe Fiasco/Kanye West vibe the group had going for it. But instead Q was chosen, despite his rawness. They saw potential in this dude from Brooklyn, who was also committed to hip-hop and decided to take a chance on him. I respected that. I also respected their decision to give him creative freedom with very reasonable limits. So learning this, I felt pretty confident that I would soon feel comfortable joining the team that would help to make both P&G’s and Q’s dream come true.

I courted hip-hop mainly through TAG’s Myspace page. I communicated with other music lovers, and fans of both TAG and Q. I also helped to build our network through Core Djs’ networking site. I officially became the intern/community manager. Every day I listened to our friends’ music and help to decide which artists would make “Spotlight.” I also made sure I was up to date with the ever-evolving music industry by reading blogs. I also loved the perks, such as free music, attending commercial shoots and other major events as well as meeting hip hop celebrities. Like all relationships, it wasn’t always easy, but if you love what you do, then all the work is worth it.

All in all, the summer internship at Acme was a very unexpected, but thoroughly, enjoyable one. Through the internship, I am still fervently committed to hip-hop and in this relationship for the long haul.

– Ernestine Belgrave, ACME Intern

Lauren Conrad + mark x MTV

Lauren in ‘The Club’

Lauren in ‘The Date’

ACME on NPR, TAG at Rucker Park and more!

We have tons of interesting updates covering what has been a whirlwind of activity over the last few weeks.

Some beautiful mark spots have been all over mtv for the last two weeks as part of an integration with The Hills.  We will post the videos up here as soon as we get our hands on them.  Check out the video player at thehills.mtv.com and the Lauren Look Book located on SeenOnMTV.com.   We will provide more insight into this program soon.

David and Adam Weber are featured in this NPR story on the merging of music and brand marketing.   I love how they used audio from YouTube videos as sound bytes.  Very clever and very effective.  They even threw in some classic Q music that they must have lifted from Myspace.    Listen to the story here.

TAG @ Rucker Park

TAG kicked off the Survival of the Freshest tour at Rucker Park on August 14th.   The true survivors stuck it out through the rain and the evening wrapped with a killer mc competition (see video below).   Jermaine Dupri, Q, Russell Simmons, DJ Envy, Michael Bivins and others all turned out for the event.  Congrats to both Sandman and Cash Flow for doing their thing in front of a tough Harlem crowd.

American Brandstand: TAG & ACME Featured in New York Times

This is actually the third NY Times piece that has covered TAG Records – which must be a sign that we are on to something to special. This particular article happens to highlight the fact that TAG is just one of a number of brands that are currently jumping into the music space in interesting ways. All of these programs (Bacardi, Red Bull, TAG, and Converse) are getting major buzz upon announcement, but the real test will be how any of them move the sales needle. Now we all watch, unless you are actually part of one of the campaigns – and the work is really just beginning!

Indeed, brands are getting deeper and deeper into the music business, but they are not exactly forcing themselves in. Savvy labels and artists are embracing the right types of branded programs, and if you were around 5-10 years ago, it simply wasn’t the case.

“When I started in this business 10 years ago, it was hard to get an artist to stand in front of a sign with a logo on it,” said David Caruso, the co-founder of Acme, the agency that negotiated the deal between Island Def Jam and Tag.

Now artists are actually calling brands. Seems crazy, but I like to think they are getting smart 🙂

Read the entire article here.

Jermaine Dupri: Today, We Make History…

That’s what Jermaine Dupri said about the Tag Records label that was announced yesterday. It has been picked up in literally hundreds of publications and blogs, and here are a few links to what people are saying…


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And don’t forget about the hip-hop blog chatter:


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And of course, the Queen of All Media had to chime in:


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Mr. International, Player with a Passport (aka International Coverage):


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Check out more at http://www.tagrecords.com/