The Power of Music to Strengthen Emotional Connections

June 21, 2017


As is universally agreed, the emotional resonance of music – the sounds that cornerstone life’s key moments – is huge. At Monday’s FleishmanHillard panel  Talking Tunes & Human Truths with Young Guru, hosted by ICCO and The Holmes Report at the House of PR, this truth was tested, torn apart and proven.

Legendary audio engineer Young Guru famed for his work with Jay-Z joined by FleishmanHillard Fishburn’s Executive Creative Director Kev O’Sullivan and Sam Kim of FleishmanHillard’s Korea office, shared insights from both his long career in the music industry and experience working with brands including AT&T.

The key to collaborating with a musical partner, says Guru, is deeply understanding your brand, your business goal and never underestimating your audience. If that understanding is correct, finding the right nuance to ensure you have the correct collaborator should feel almost seamless. The nuance is key.

When this understanding is lacking, and brands partner with collaborators who are not a natural fit, audiences are quick to notice and the repercussions are never positive. It can be damaging to both brand and musician.

Nowhere was an example of truly finding the right collaborator more evident than in FleishmanHillard’s work with Hormel Black Label Bacon. Working with musician Reggie Watts, the outcome was a piece of branded film that spoke to not only his skills as an artist but used key insight into the nature of the activity of cooking bacon to speak to the audience and their interests in an authentic way.

Similarly, South Korea’s Fingerband national anti-smoking campaign with the Ministry of Health and Welfare which involved repurposing a popular teen accessory to create a fashion statement among teens that not smoking is cool used sonic branding, partnering with popular Korean musicians to create an anthem for the campaign that resonated with the target audience.

Whether you’re putting together the next Grammy-award winning artist collaboration or aligning a brand with an artist to reach a new audience, the song remains the same. Authenticity is king, and if you don’t do the work to identify the right partner your content is going nowhere.


L-R Arun Sudhaman (The Holmes Report, Young Guru, Sam Kim (FleishmanHillard Korea), Kev O’Sullivan (FleishmanHillard Fishburn)