- Musical instrument brand Fender launched a new global marketing campaign, "Fender Next," which will focus on supporting a new generation of diverse artists, according to a news release provided to Marketing Dive.
- Fender is teaming up with 50 new artists from around the world, such as Melanie Faye, Cautious Clay, Tash Sultana and Sam Fender, who will tell their stories across the brand's marketing, social media, mini documentaries and other creative content. They'll also be included on Fender Next players on music streaming services including Spotify. Fender plans to expand the campaign in 2020 and will choose a new lineup of Fender Next artists to spotlight.
- Fender Next kicks off at SXSW in Austin, Texas, on March 14 and 15 with an interactive experience, including thought leadership discussions, concerts, Fender Play demos and more. Fender is also partnering with clothing line Lucky Brand on custom merchandise for Fender Next artists at SXSW. The brands are collaborating on a custom photo booth for fans at the March festival.
Through Fender Next, the iconic musical instrument brand aims to inspire a new generation of musicians to pick up their instruments by showcasing up-and-coming artists from around the world. The campaign was inspired by the evolving and increasingly diverse music scene and internal research revealing that among beginning guitar players, women make up 50%, African Americans account for 19% and Latinos 25%.
Fender is the latest brand to use its marketing to highlight emerging artists and help them gain exposure in the crowded music scene. The campaign follows several others, including the Creators class program by PepsiCo and Unilever's Brisk iced tea, which featured "Black Panther" star Michael B. Jordan. That program joins industry leaders and emerging artists on mentorship and collaborative projects. Similarly, Coca-Cola brand Sprite partnered with 20 emerging artists to create their own freestyles about what issues matter most to them for its #GetVocal campaign, created with Izze the Producer.
Featuring real stories of the artists' creative journeys in the Fender campaign adds a key element of authenticity, which could resonate with younger consumers and help Fender deepen its emotional connection. Millennial and Gen Z consumers see influencers as more engaging and trustworthy that celebrities, and are more likely to respond to their product recommendations. These consumers also expect brands to support their identities and feature more diversity in their advertising.
Kicking off the campaign during the SXSW Music Festival is a natural fit for Fender and could attract younger consumers who value opportunities to engage with their favorite brands in real life. The Austin festival has become a platform for brands to test and launch experiential activations.