It’s no secret that Country artists are ideal ambassadors for companies that want to impact a specific buyer demographic. But more brands than ever are becoming aware that the appeal of Country transcends its perceived fan base and speaks to a wider consumer profile.
Consider Patagonia, purveyor of outdoor apparel and gear. Its focus on mountain climbing, fly fishing, surfing, trail running and similar activities goes hand-in-hand with its advocacy on environmental preservation and improvement. And its latest campaign to mobilize the public behind these concerns is the Patagonia Music Collective, which enlists musical artists to sell exclusive downloads and donate the proceeds to an environmental cause of their choice.
“It’s our goal as an agency to do positive social work in the marketing and brand spaces,” said Geoff Stanfield, Founder, GIST Lab, which created the program for Patagonia. “We thought that if there could be a great partnership between the music community and a brand that does great social work, that brand would be Patagonia.”
Launched in March 2011, the Collective has released three digital albums featuring music licensed for one year to Patagonia by jazz artist Esperanza Spalding, avant-jazz innovators Medeski, Martin & Wood, folk-rock icons David Crosby and Graham Nash and some outstanding Country artists too. The most recent compilation, Volume 3, became available on iTunes in February.
“My colleague Megan Sykes was aware that Patagonia was launching a music program,” said Laura Hutfless, a music sponsorship agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA). “She proactively reached out and learned that the program was dedicated to environmental fundraising and they were looking for talented artists, established or emerging, who were either eco-friendly or had a connection to an environmental cause. We identified Edens Edge as an ideal fit because of their passion for promoting environmental awareness.”
Edens Edge — Hannah Blaylock, Dean Berner and Cherrill Green — released an exclusive live version of “Amen“ via the Patagonia Music Collective. It’s earning were donated to Urban Farming, whose aim is to create an abundance of food for people in need through planting seeds as well as knowledge in communities around the globe.
Other involved Country artists include Ryan Bingham and Sugarland, who support the Surfrider Foundation, the Civil Wars, who also supported Urban Farming, and Zac Brown Band, who gave to the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition. Patagonia is also giving an additional $5,000 to each charity designated by artists involved in the campaign.
“It’s not just jam bands and granola,” Stanfield summed up. “These issues are everybody’s. We felt it important that we have Country Music and its fans represented because they have environmental concerns just as much as the next guy.”
On the Web: www.EdensEdge.com; www.Patagonia.com
On Twitter: @EdensEdge
By Bob Doerschuk
© 2012 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.
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