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By Patricia Odell - September 18, 2003

The world of music Tuesday offered up a preview of marketing and licensing opportunities that featured live performances to a theatre filled with large and small brands.

Major studios—Buena Vista Music Group, Universal Music Group, EMI Music Marketing, Warner Music Group, BMG Entertainment and Sony Music Nashville—all showed off opportunities to tie-in, partner, license or sponsor with their major superstars, as well as developing artists, at The L.A. Office RoadShow.

Stephanie Cohen, senior director of retail marketing for Universal, talked about a recent campaign with Kmart, which, working to reorganize under bankruptcy protection, was shifting its focus to the Latino market.

The program included partnering with MasterCard, which looked to drive usage within the Latin community. A rollback on prices of 25 Latin CDs for four weeks added an additional discount if the discs were purchased with a MasterCard. The campaign focused on five hot Latin artists and was promoted via circulars that drove customers to stores, radio spots (some with voiceover from the artists) and in-store displays with a tear off card for a $3 discount with the MasterCard.

Cohen said Universal, which typically saw sales increases of about 40% with this type of promotion, got sales increases of 410% with the Latino campaign.

The following are snapshots of artists who performed live presentations

• Feel: a group of four young men that formed a rock bank in 2001. Their debut self-titled album has spawned two radio hits so far. Won't Stand in Your Way and Got Your Name on It both reached the top 25 most-played songs from November 2002 to June 2003.

• Army of Freshmen: This five-piece rock/alternative band (average age 23) writes songs, books shows, tours and sells merchandise among a number of other activities. They tour the U.S. two to three times per year and have a large Japanese fan base.

• Shelley Fairchild: This country singer recently signed to Sony Music Nashville. She records her debut album this fall.

Blue Country: The young men making up this country duo—Aaron Benward and Scott Reeves—hosted L.A. RoadShow's music day event.

• Ashley Gearing: This 12-year-old has a single that's currently climbing the country charts, a country balled Can You Hear Me When I Talk to You.

• Stacie Orrico: She released her first album, Genuine, at the age of 14 in August 2000. Genuine debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart in the summer of 2001. In conjunction with her Christmas album, she partnered with the Make-a-Wish Foundation for an 11-city tour.

• Jennifer Hanson: This country singer, at age 29, was nominated for "Top New Female Artist" at the 2003 Academy of Country Music Awards.

• Dave Koz: His self-titled 1990 release made it onto the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts and stayed there 25 weeks. Shortly thereafter, he earned widespread fame by appearing regularly on The Arsenio Hall Show as part of the "Posse." He has a 14-year career with Capitol Records.

• La Onda: 2002 marked the successful launch of this group's career when their norteño version of Asereje topped both Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks airplay chart and the Latin Regional Mexican Airplay chart for many months. In May 2003, La Onda released its sophomore album, Otra Onda.

• Franky Perez: Poor Man's Son, the Last Vegas-based Cuban American singer/songwriter's debut, collects 17 extraordinary tracks of remarkable diversity and power. Perez's heartfelt storytelling and a classic musical style are born out of his father's record collection.

The L.A. Office RoadShow expected 1,000 people to pass through the event this week.

Live from the L.A. RoadShow: If the Music isn't Good, Channel Surf

Consumers appear to be paying attention to music in commercials, promotions and on TV shows, but the response may not be exactly what brands bargained for.

In a recent survey by E-Poll and The L.A. Office, more than 1,000 consumers were asked about the promotions they have experienced and recall in the last three months.

The survey found that:

• 26% of respondents have seen product promotions or offers in movies

• 11% said they have participated in a promotion or sweepstakes in the last six months

• Coke and Pepsi are the most recognizable brands on the big screen

• 50% of respondents change channels if they don't like the music in a commercial

• 29% are more likely to pay attention to a music performer than a TV/movie star in a promotion

• Seven in 10 people have purchased a CD because of songs they heard in a movie

• Almost 50% of respondents have seen a recognizable brand name product on a TV show

• 8% said they have purchased a product specifically because of a TV promotion

• About half of all respondents said they feel product placement of TV shows can "seem fake and contrived"

In other findings, point-of-purchase discounts are rated as the top reason that men and women act on a promotion (45%). The Internet and TV rank highest in ad exposure, but the Internet falls down the list on generating attention (only 34% said they paid some/a lot of attention). And the right spokesperson is key: 34% said they did not purchase a product endorsed by a celebrity spokesperson they disliked.