Carmakers use famous singers and musicians to garner a bit more interest in their cars and reach new audiences. Some of these collaborations can seem a bit bizarre but there is usually some parallel between the musician, car and brand values that makes the two sing from the same hymn sheet (!). Cue colourful marketing spiel and superlatives. Try not to be too cynical.
1. Will.i.am and Lexus
The two formed a ‘creative partnership’ around the release of the Lexus NX, which saw Will.i.am design a special edition of the premium mid-size SUV and star in a television ad to promote the car. And what did these two have in common? A spokesperson for Lexus Europe said: “His passion for design and innovation, coupled with his incredible creativity, makes him the perfect partner for our Lexus NX ‘Striking Angles’ campaign.” The NX by Will.i.am featured a maelstrom of tech, including four 180° external cameras that could take panoramic pictures and videos and stream them to a smartphone, and of course the obligatory banging ten speaker sound system.
2. Pixie Lott and Citroen
Citroen scored a perfect product placement opportunity with Pixie Lott in 2010 soon after the release of the Citroen DS3, the first in the new line of DS cars. The DS3 featured in Pixie’s video for ‘Broken Arrow’ and was a golden opportunity to market the car to a young, female demographic that would appreciate the DS3’s stylish good looks. The two paired up again in 2011 for a special edition DS3 Racing cameo in her music video for ‘What Do You Take Me For’ and again in 2014 in the music video for ‘Break Up Song’. A spokesperson for Citroen said: “Citroën’s association with Pixie is a great way to introduce DS3 to a younger generation of music lovers.”
3. Shakira and SEAT
SEAT sponsored the European leg of Shakira’s 2010 tour and also released a special edition of the Ibiza in her honour – the SEAT Ibiza ‘Good Stuff’. The car’s name was taken from one of the tracks on Shakira’s album, ‘She Wolf’. As part of the promotional package, the Spanish brand developed the ‘Good Stuff’ campaign starring the SEAT Ibiza and Shakira. Sportiness, youth and design were the values SEAT hoped to embody with the collaboration and used Shakira’s music and performances as a way to connect with their target audience.
4. Avicii and Volvo
The Swedish artist and producer Avicii joined Volvo in a ‘creative cooperation’ to launch the Volvo XC90 in 2015. Avicii was part of the brand campaign ‘A New Beginning’ for the XC90 and the song chosen for the collaboration was ‘Feeling Good’. A spokesperson for Volvo said, “The Volvo Cars brand is on the ascendant, just as Avicii is, with a growing global audience. We thought there would be no better way to celebrate our heritage and passion for life than to work together to produce something special that reflects who we are and what matters to us.”
5. Lana Del Rey and Jaguar
Jaguar teamed up with Lana Del Rey to create some buzz around the launch of the F-Type sports coupé. She performed her song ‘Burning Design’ at the global reveal of the car in Paris in 2012. The song was written by Lana Del Rey and featured as the title track to a special film called ‘Desire’ commissioned by Jaguar and starring Damian Lewis. The video for the song features the singer performing the song, with cameos by the Jaguar F-Type looking very fast and very sexy. Job done.
6. Kylie Minogue and Lexus
Kylie Minogue led a ‘Quiet Revolution’ to launch the Lexus CT 200h, fronting a major advertising campaign for the launch of the new hybrid hatchback. The ads focused on Kylie enjoying the hush of the CT 200h’s with the near-silent running of the hybrid compact car when moving around town on electric power. A spokesperson for Lexus said: “Kylie is an ideal brand ambassador for Lexus as not only does she have immense appeal, she is also innovative and has a great personality which will reach out and connect with new customers that the CT 200h will bring to Lexus.”
7. Lykke Li and Peugeot
Peugeot teamed up with Lykke Li for the launch of the Peugeot 108 city car. She appeared driving the new 108 in an advertising campaign to the soundtrack of her song ‘Gunshot’. Lykke Li was chosen because her young, female fans were the target market for the 108 and she uses social media to encourage her fans to be themselves, in the same way the Peugeot 108’s customisation options encourage owners to exert their personality on the car. Get it?