Music-Loving PTTOW! Brings More Brands to the Millennial Marketing Party


Music is the Pied Piper of marketing to millennials, and it’s hard to think of a brand these days that isn’t courting youths with the promise of sweet beats, live entertainment and other forms of melodic wooing in the hopes of spurring buzz, engagement—with a side order of loyalty, growth and revenue. 

Cue PTTOW!, an invite-only network of CEOs, CMOs and cultural leaders whose companies and brands represent $68 billion in annual media spending. As a group sharing best practices and inspiration, it’s hoping to transform music-marketing collaborations as new technologies and social platforms change consumer behavior. 

PTTOW! launched almost eight years ago, with the goal of being a “business accelerator for larger companies” that engage directly with the next generation of consumers (ages 14-34), Forbes notes. The unusual monkier comes straight out of a teenager’s bedroom, where PTTOW! is comic book lingo for a punch in the face, and more formally stands for Plan To Take On the World.

After seven years of hosting major annual events and a handful of smaller events, PTTOW! has booked its biggest gig to date: PTTOW! Music, a series of members-only events and think tank sessions culminating in the organization’s first music summit on February 4 in Los Angeles—better known in the industry as Grammy Awards week.[more]

“The problem we’ve seen with music in the past is a lot of one-off type deals, whether it’s Samsung and Jay Z or Apple and U2,” PTTOW! co-founder Roman Tsunder told Billboard

“We want to take the blinders off the brand-and-music conversation, and collectively work together with all the major stakeholders. There hasn’t been a neutral party to bring everybody together and set the ethos to create what’s possible tomorrow.”

“The music industry is evolving rapidly with the constant release of new technologies and consumer adoption shifts,” stated Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, in a press release about the organization’s new cultural advisory board.

“PTTOW! Music is a venue for the most influential brands in today’s youth culture to come together and forge powerful partnerships that connect music with other industries” he added. “It’s an opportunity for game-changing brands to generate ideas and campaigns that keep them at the forefront of consumer trends.”

Or as Tsunder told Billboard, “A lot of CMOs have more influence than most heads of state, so the role they play in music is only constrained by their ideas and their dreams.” 

Confirmed participants at PTTOW! Music include a broad swath of blue-chip brand leaders such as Esther Lee, SVP of Brand Marketing & Advertising for AT&T; James Curleigh, President of the Levi’s brand; Taco Bell CMO Chris Brandt; Rich Lehrfeld, head of global media, sponsorship & experiential marketing for American Express; Red Bull managing director Werner Brell; and Rob Matthews, GM of global consumer marketing for Microsoft and Xbox.

Also involved: Joe Tripodi, the exiting CMO of Coca-Cola, and Emmanuel Seuge, head of Global Alliances & Ventures at Coca-Cola; Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos; Jeff Jones, EVP & CMO of Target; Susan Jurevics, SVP of Brand Marketing for Sony; Quiksilver founder Bob McKnight; Rachel Weiss, VP of Digital Strategy for L’Oréal; Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amruso, and George Whitesides, CEO and President of Virgin Galactic.

Heavy-hitters from the music industry include Steve Barnett, Chairman & CEO of Capitol Music Group; Steve Berman, Vice Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M; Rob Wells, president of digital business at Universal Music Group; and Troy Carter, CEO of Atom Factory.

Other members include Black Eyed Peas founder/entrepreneur; ad industry legend Lee Clow of TBWA\Worldwide; Pat Tenore, founder of RVCA; former Viacom co-President/MTV Networks head Tom Freston; skateboarder Danny Way; DJ Kaskade; and actor/Soul Pancake cofounder Rainn Wilson.

During PTTOW!’s annual conferences, its VIP membership gathers to examine the young-adult market, deconstruct the next-generation consumer and define the trends driving today’s culture.

They also have a lot of fun—from parachuting, parties in the Hamptons, and cigar boat races to adventurous helicopter rides and private Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas, the “marketing event for marketers” is one over-the-top stunt after another, Adweek reports.

According to Adweek, Tsunder credits the power of PTTOW! to the fact that “one commonality of everyone in the group is that they’re focused on this next-generation consumer. We’re close to every company focused on this audience.”

This new kind of juggernaut is perfectly matched to the social media savvy and DIY-minded millennials, and indeed, a punch in the face to old school partnerships. PTTOW! intends to make good on its plan to take on the world, one next-generation, music-loving consumer at a time.

And for more on the value exchange between bands and brands, click here for insights from a new report by Frukt and Next Big Sound.

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[Images via PTTOW!]


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