- Brand USA, the U.S. destination-marketing organization, is launching a new integrated marketing campaign "Hear the Music, Experience the USA," which uses the power of music to promote international travel to the United States, according to a news release. The campaign was created and executed by creative agency Mustache with MediaCom, Brand USA's communications, data and audience partner.
- As part of the campaign, five emerging artists from across the country interpret Bobby Freeman's track "Do You Wanna Dance?" using different musical genres. Each artist is featured in a video that also highlights his or her home city's sites and sounds. The artists include Atlanta hip-hop artist Cam James (Cameron James Williams), electronic dance music artist Bass Physics (Arja Adair) from Denver, Houston-based blues artist Nathan Quick, rock group Reptaliens (Bambi and Cole Browning) of Portland, OR, and soul artist Calma Carmona from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- Brand USA partnered with Spotify to create more than 20 playlists customized according to different U.S. city soundscapes. Spotify will create each playlist based on the artists and genres that over-index in popularity with users located in those cities, reflecting the mood of the location, such as the upbeat, Latin-inspired sounds of Miami. Users will be directed to the Visit The USA website to learn more about the different cities, activities and music.
Brand USA is giving travelers a look into several U.S. destinations through the eyes of local artists as well as a glimpse at what music is popular in an area. The video series for each city showcases places beyond New York and Los Angeles that many international travelers may not have considered in their travel planning. While the campaign focuses on the distinctive music of each locale, the videos use visual storytelling to highlight different attractions that could be tourism draws.
The campaign is in-line with Brand USA's large-format film, "America's Musical Journey," exploring U.S. history through unique music and sounds. Focusing on musical experiences could help Brand USA engage more millennials, who prefer to spend money on things like travel over material goods. Among U.S. millennial women, 72% say spending on experiences makes them the happiest, and 54% say experiences will drive their biggest purchases in the next year, a Merkle and Levo study found. Partnering with Spotify will also help the tourism group lure the age segment, who make up 72% of all U.S. users on the streaming platform.
Spotify, which went public at the beginning of the month, has been exploring new advertising and branding opportunities, including podcast partnerships with publishers, sponsored playlists, self-serve advertising platforms and skippable audio ads. Brands may be attracted to Spotify for the wealth of data that it has on its 157 million subscribers, including moods, preferences and listening habits.
Along with Brand USA, other brands have created custom Spotify playlists as part of their campaigns. Diageo vodka brand Smirnoff recently partnered with Spotify to create an API that promotes female musicians and helps users discover how women are part of their listening habits.