JWUnsigned: when fashion meets music

Frukt, the leading music strategy and communications agency, usually has its finger on the pulse of brands, bands and fans, educating the marketing industry on how brands can use music to leverage their message.

Shame they seem to have overlooked the latest in fashion/music integration: JWUnsigned. Because Jack Wills is jumping into the brand/music marketing mix head first with some pretty cool stuff.

JWUnsigned

As a means of reaching out to an expanded youth market, JW has embraced the unsigned indie music crowd, providing a platform for new talent and a portal for new fans to find them.

JWUnsigned.com showcases the talent of any band or artist who spends a few moments registering and uploading their tracks. They immediately get exposure to a key demographic (the JW market) who vote for their favourites online. Those with the most votes stand a chance of even greater fame and fortune, being invited to headline at a number of JW music events across the country – the star prize being the headline act at Jack Wills Varsity Polo 2010. Thereby increasing their fan base ten-fold.

(And if you want a snapshot of the genuine talent on show, have a quick listen to the Wills Fm radio while you’re reading this…)

In turn, Jack is seen as the gateway to a whole host of the freshest burgeoning young music talent in the UK. Jack rewards the bands with gig opportunities, and its fans with invitations to secret shows, festival stages, basement gigs and other exclusive events. Everyone wins.

JW_Francesqa
Francesqa take to the stage in this week's basement gig at the JW Kings Road store

As evidenced from the good fun had by all at the latest JWUnsigned gig (held at their split level Kings Road store this week), the talent on show is not too shabby either. While American band Hockey headlined, it was actually the slightly less polished sounds of Brit support acts Fluid Lines and Francesqa that caught our ears more readily (and eyes – Francesqa’s bassist Ben is CUTE). Taking us back a mere four years to uni days spent clasping plastic pint glasses of snakebite, rocking out in intimate venues to the sounds of Sugarcult, Zebrahead, Taking Back Sunday and Fall Out Boy – it all came flooding back.

Anyway, top night bringing together the brand that we know we love, with brand new music we’d only just been introduced to. It’s definitely an interesting route for JW – clearly growing their market whilst retaining that all-important preppy youth culture. Just now with a little more edge.

How long before JWUnsigned develops an official label? Fashion brands representing artists? I’ve heard worse plans for brand expansion… Watch this space.

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