Brilliant! promotional samplers

How do you get the cool kids on board with your brand? It doesn't hurt to put your name on a sampler featuring music from their favourite artists, movies and video games. Unfortunately, thanks to often-costly licensing fees, promotional compilations are a rare breed. But we found three marketers who devised ways to deliver these high-quality premiums and as a result appeal directly to their respective targets.

How do you get the cool kids on board with your brand? It doesn’t hurt to put your name on a sampler featuring music from their favourite artists, movies and video games. Unfortunately, thanks to often-costly licensing fees, promotional compilations are a rare breed. But we found three marketers who devised ways to deliver these high-quality premiums and as a result appeal directly to their respective targets.

Puma’s hipster appeal

Sheila Roberts, Toronto-based Puma’s Blue Station marketing manager, is always looking for grassroots ways to cement her brand’s hipster cred. So, she went right to the source by approaching Montreal-based ‘it’ band Death From Above 1979 about helping her put together a CD sampler featuring music by them and some of their friends. The band – already Puma fans – jumped on board, as did bands Metric, the Stars and Magneta Lane. Roberts shipped the sampler out to Puma’s smaller retail partners, as well as Toronto record store Rotate This, where the hipsters shop, to use as a gift with purchase. ‘It’s intended to cater to early adopters,’ she explains. ‘There’s no age bracket – we’re after people who are passionate about music.’

Vespa adopts early adopters

Like Puma, Vespa is after those lucrative early-adopting-hipster types. Aware of the synergy between music and hipsters,

Jeremy Logan, VP marketing at Toronto-based Vespa distributor Canadian Scooter Corp. decided to give away a sampler, featuring trendy artists like Nouvelle Vague, from Virgin label V2, at a recent Toronto launch party for the Vespa LX, as well as at Vespa dealerships themselves. Another compilation, Cool Britannia by Toronto radio station 102.1 The Edge, is available for sale

at Vespa locations, re-packaged with customized Vespa backs.

Nightmare dreams up score sampler

To build buzz around the October launch of its Nightmare Before Christmas title, Toronto-based Buena Vista Games is sending a promo music sampler to press, and will either distribute it as a pre-order incentive or gift with purchase at a national retailer (still TBD). ‘One of the big things about the [Tim Burton] movie was the music,’ explains Michelle Liem, Buena Vista’s senior marketing manager. The CD, which will

feature both music from the movie and the game, is currently a Canadian-only initiative. ‘It’s a great mechanic for marketing the game,’ she says.