Build the experience and the brands will come

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 7 June 2016
Image from Nova 96.9.

Brands might be pushing to tap into the emotional passion point of music, but Nova chief marketing and digital officer Tony Thomas says when it comes to brand sponsorships, “the audience is smart enough to know when something isn't the right fit”.

Thomas was speaking to AdNews about its Red Room Global Tour, which started 1 June, and saw audience taken to the UK to hear a raft of global performers, including Coldplay. The Global Red Room finishes it run tonight in Sydney with a performance from Meghan Trainor.

Nova rebranded from a radio station to an entertainment brand more than two years ago, and since then events have become one of the core tenants of its asset base.

The Global event is a spin off of its local events platform Red Room, but on a grander scale, and includes brand partners such as Qantas and Marquee at The Star Sydney.

For Qantas, as a travel partner, this means not only flying the guests to the overseas location, but being able to build their own content from the moments that happen “in between” the concerts.

Thomas says that that the event has evolved as a platform, but that creating an experience for audiences is still key – and that meanings involving brand partners who fit seamlessly with the event.

“People really understand where a brand fits and where it doesn't fit,” Thomas says. “It is an enormous passion point for our audience, and as an entertainment business music is in our DNA, so we look for brand that are able to tap into that.

“It needs to make sense in terms of unlocking this passion point in music.”

It's such a lucrative market for Nova that it has also begun creating bespoke events for brands, outside of the Red Room brand banner. Earlier this year Nova created a music event featuring Sydney band The Rubens for the Australian launch of Campari brand, Baron Samedi Spiced. Listeners were given the opportunity to win tickets to the event.

Thomas says the event marks its third branded entertainment experience.

“It's not always about Nova the brand,” Thomas says. “What we can do is bring the credentials and the passion in musics to other clients. What we did was build a really incredible experience, specifically tailored to what the commercial partners are looking for.”

The other aspect of the events space is content, with Thomas noting that a whole digital team comes with the attendees of the Nova Red Room experience in order to capture every moment and share it on social media to amplify the content.

As content marketing becomes a bigger advertising area for brands, Thomas says Nova's content marketing capabilities, especially focused on the highly engaged music sector, will be a boon for the company.

“When we launched Nova Entertainment as our new company proposition, content was really the tenant of what we tried to achieve and what we structurally set up to deceive,” Thomas says.

“”We start with content, we're structured the right way to deliver on it and for us it's just about creating the right platforms.”

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