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Music As A Marketing Tool Focused On Millennials

Music As A Marketing Tool Focused On Millennials

As all social media users know, millennials are now ruling the economics, making up more than 25% of the US population, with a purchase power of around $1 trillion dollars, and it’s not just me who says this: you can check the numbers on PTTOW, CNBC, and Forbes.

Because we spent a large part of our lives under the influence of electronics and social media, we like to see brands going an extra mile in order to sell us stuff.

Millennials are probably the first generation of buyers who prize the emotional bond between them and the seller. In order to make a millennial buy, you need to represent the complex set of values they appreciate and reach to them, speaking their own language. I will talk about the foreign language spoke by millennials in another article, as for this one, I want to discuss how music is becoming the leading marketing tool brands are using to advertise to millennials.

Why music?

Why music? Why brands are focusing their marketing campaigns on music, targeting millennials?

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The answer lies in the power of music. Music is able to cross cultural barriers and connect people in an amazing way. Music brings a lot of health benefits and is used as therapy, due to its great emotional power on the human brain. It also stimulates social interaction, which is just what brands are looking for. Moreover, millennials grew up on music, surrounded by tapes and sticking posters with pop singers on their bedroom’s walls. Some of us even had the advantage of recording music at home, with their computer, so music is close to any millennial’s heart.

The influence of the artist on the millennial.

Lori Feldman of Warner Brother Records states that music and the artist are critical to connect a brand with its consumers, as they transmit a certain message to the consumer, and this is true: music and those who sing it are able to emotionally connect people, so when brands started to use celebrities to advertise their products and conduct music marketing campaigns, they reached a gold mine.

To exemplify this, let’s remember the time when Jay Z announced the release of his LP “Magna Carta Holy Grail” in a Samsung ad, which was so effective the app went down due to traffic.

Call to action on musical notes.

Millennials are attracted by causes and they are quick to act and react on social changes. This generation will go out in the streets, asking for what they want! Music is going to be there, with them, at any social event, from a protest to a party, because music is dynamic and incites to action.

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Amnesty International launched a program called The Power of Our Voices in 2012, educating students about the power of music and how they can use it to drive social change. The program was a hit and many students wrote and sang their own protest songs, which incite to action, to change. After all, Billie Holiday sang about racial issues and most rappers sing about the difficulties of the ghetto live.

In this project, students were taught to drive change by using the power of their own voices.

Brands also took advantage of this driving force: during a contest labeled #AbsolutGaga that went on during Lady Gaga’s 2014 tour, fans were encouraged to share their creative ideas on how they would transform their community. Needless to say, the campaign was a hit and showed that people can be involved in transforming their community.

Music engagement leads to long term relationships.

What can you do to gain as much exposure as possible? Engage your audience! Music events have a great power to engage the audience – think Coachella and the million of photos and videos uploaded by the participants on their own social media channels. This is what makes Coachella the main musical event of the year and brands can benefit from this opportunity as well. The keyword here is “live event”. When people attend live events, they engage easier, because they are emotionally connected.

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The profile of the average music festival enthusiast is someone of 18-30 years old, who is quick to act on emotions and is active on social media. To understand better the phrase “act on emotions” think of the decision to spend hundreds of dollars on a ticket to a music festival: is it rational or emotional?

A study conducted by Momentum Worldwide showed that people who attend a branded live event are 65% more likely to recommend the brand afterwards and 59% more likely to buy from the brand afterwards.

Digital and traditional methods complement each other.

For a millennial who is highly active on social media, it may seem intuitive to use the online medium to discover new tunes. The reality is twisted: 78% of millennials find new music by listening to radio, which is a traditional medium.

Despite this, Twitter is the main platform where the audience meets the artist and share the news about live music events.

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H&M tested the results of this study when they launched their Fashion Against AIDS campaign on radio in 2008. The campaign had a great impact, as it was offering 500 tickets to an Estelle performance, which was going to be held at an yet unknown location. Social media was also used during this campaign. At the end, the entire marketing campaign showed the combo of millennials, music and social media can sell 50k designer T-shirts and attract 17k entries.

The conclusion on the power of music marketing on millennials.

Millennials are breathing music on their social media accounts and technology advancements are keeping us closer to our favorite tunes and artists, while we love to interact digitally with our idols, we also love to see them in live events. In fact, the general lack of social interaction is pushing millennials to crave more and more live music events, where they can get a physical and emotional experience.

All these make music a great marketing tool for millennials, so branded live music events are going to bloom in the future, as more and more companies use music to reach and engage their audience.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via images.unsplash.com

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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