First day of Spring
November 29

Dance & Brands

Throughout the last six years, we’ve been fostering the marriage between electronic music and advertising through our own conference at Amsterdam Dance Event. This year’s edition of Dance & Brands at DeLaMar Theatre sparked conversations between artists, publishers and advertising moguls alike. Here’s a roundup of that day's most insightful observations and remarks.

Roland Leesker  - Get Physical
Roland Leesker is the managing director at Get Physical, a Berlin based record label that has been making its mark on electronic music since 2002. During the panel discussion U don’t have to be mainstream, a conversation about the ever growing interaction between brands and underground music culture, he pointed out that in this day and age everybody is using branding principles and mechanisms through their social media profiles. In a time where almost everyone or everything you see on social media is trying to sell you a product or idea, brands need to find new, more meaningful ways to connect.

Peter Kan - First Day of Spring
First Day of Spring founding father Peter Kan noted that, indeed, the landscape has totally changed. Five years ago, musical change makers were afraid of logo’s and branding, but nowadays both consumers and artists know that brands can add value to their experience. “Consumers are very mature. They know that brands spend money to become part of culture. Brands know music culture is where they can build amazingly creative campaigns that make a mark. As long as brands give the people within music creative freedom, music culture is where perception change starts.”

Juan Arnau Jr. - elrow
Spaniard Juan Arnau Jr. and his sister built elrow from its humble beginnings as a Barcelonian after party concept, to an electronic music empire spanning the world. Not bad. Especially regarding elrow started only eight years ago. During the Festivals Are Brands Too panel Arnau Jr. talked about keeping up with the new generation, pointing out that if you don’t understand your audience and if you can’t keep up with their pace, you won’t make it as a party, nor as a brand.

Stephen Mai - Boiler Room
Starting out with two turntables and a webcam, Boiler Room has built a cultural institution and a streaming empire on delivering underground dance music to living rooms across the globe. Since 2010, they successfully helped brands make an impact in hard to reach (and especially convince) audiences, partnering with A-list brands ranging from Zalando to Nike, Ray Ban, Ballantines and The North Face at our Pinnacle Project event in Manchester. Their succes? Prioritising authenticity. Boiler Room lets music and culture bloom and helps brands speak the language of their target audience. Authentically connecting with music culture adds meaning to a brand’s message and proposition. At Dance & Brands, Chief Content Officer Stephen Mai championed narrative driven music marketing, stating that “brands can’t reach millennials or Gen Z without being purposeful.“

Andreea Magdalina - Wondersauce
In the same panel, Wondersauce producer Andreea Magadlina (Mixcloud’s former content VP), reinforced this way of thinking, explaining that the relationship between music and brands has changed a lot over the past few years, especially recently: “Luckily a lot of brands have matured into a space where they understand that a successful relationship is not a sponsorship but a partnership. It’s not about snapping your logo somewhere, it’s about changing culture and creating culture together. Partnering with music is how you get on the forefront of that. It’s how you get to dictate the conversation and be part of the future.”