Universal just launched its very own advertising agency

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Universal Music Group has just launched its own advertising agency – and is asking its artists to come up with concepts to help out brand partners.

Creative agency BRING has been founded in Australia in conjunction with London and Sydney-based agency One Green Bean, as well as HOST, which has worked with brands such as Bankwest, Coca-Cola, Air New Zealand and Sony Playstation.

As such, BRING says it will have “one foot in entertainment and two in brand land”, via an eight-person Sydney-based team led by managing director Roddy Campbell, executive creative director Cameron Farrelly, and OGB & HOST global CEO/founder Anthony Freedman.

Universal artists are apparently going to be given the chance to collaborate with BRING’s team directly – responding with ideas to companies’ branding challenges via a ‘Creative In Residence’ program (CIR).

The first guinea pig for this CIR initiative will be Aussie star Troye Sivan (pictured) who said, “I’m excited to be working with BRING to create truly collaborative partnerships with brands in the entertainment space.”

George Ash“we believe BRING can help brands unlock the unrivalled passion to hit their own goals as well as providing expanded creative opportunities for our artists.”

George Ash, Universal Music

Other ‘co-creation’ opportunities will crop up in the near future, said BRING, with the likes of Lady Gaga, Ellie Goulding, Mike Tyson, Instagramer @hellomissmay and actors Kevin Hart and Ice Cube – who are both starring in new movie Ride Along 2.

“We’re really excited about helping brands to create culture rather than badging it, borrowing it, or bankrolling it behind the scenes,” said Anthony Freedman.

Universal Music Group APAC president George Ash added: “We are privileged to work closely with the world’s greatest talent who truly define popular culture.

“They create the content people are choosing to engage with, and generate audiences bigger than any media platform on the planet.

“The demand for music and entertainment has never been higher which is why we’re so excited about the launch of BRING and what it will mean for the fusion of advertising and fan engagement.

“Working with the best partners, we believe BRING can help brands unlock the unrivalled passion to hit their own goals as well as providing expanded creative opportunities for our artists. It’s going to be heaps of fun.”

“We’re really excited about helping brands to create culture rather than badging it, borrowing it or bankrolling it behind the scenes.”

Anthony Freedman, OGB, HOST & BRING

Roddy Campbell added, “With BRING, we think we can deliver the best marketing solutions directly from common sources of consumer passion.

“BRING’s meeting of minds will allow us to create real-deal culture, valuable earned media and solutions that live in entertainment. We’re really excited.”

The news comes less than six months after Universal launched a joint venture label in France with advertising agency BETC.

And in the UK market, Universal has its own in-house division to connect artists with brands, Globe.

Not that this sort of connection to big-name companies always goes runs smooth for music companies.

As MBW noted last year, a long-running connection with the Volkswagen threatened to blow up in Universal’s face when the car company was plunged into the centre of an emissions scandal.

UMG’s ties to ad-land are deeply ingrained in the company: Vincent Bollore is the majority shareholder in both UMG owner Vivendi and leading communications and advertising agency Havas.

This connection led to UMG and Havas announcing an official ‘data alliance’ last January.Music Business Worldwide

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