Suzuki Boosts MTV Hook-Up With… Oh It’s Another Unsigned Bands Competition

Creating soundtracks for cars — now that would be cool. Sort of like Nike+ with wheels. Imagine Free Energy cooking up some chilled soft rock vibes for the rebooted VW Beetle. Or The Prodigy getting angry for Hummer.

Alas, this is not what Suzuki has in mind with New Swift Fantastic Sounds, which has just launched through its sponsorship of MTV’s European Music Awards. No, the compact Japanese vehicle will not play muse to the great musicians of today. Instead, regular folks will send in some self-penned tunes in the hope of winning VIP passes to the Awards. The clue is in the pun: FAN-tastic Sounds. Yes, it’s another f-ing unsigned band competition!

The trouble with branded unsigned bands competitions is that they’re all the same. A few hundred people send in or upload a demo. Their mates vote for them. A modest amount of buzz and website traffic results. A motley “jury” of music biz people fishes out the one or two entries decent enough to be played at some kind of finale.

For a brand, there is no opportunity to differentiate, or to say anything interesting at all really.

Couldn’t Suzuki have approached a hot-ish artist due to appear at the EMAs, Scissor Sisters say, and got them to work up a nice little tune “inspired” by the Swift? They could even have got them to customise a car and give it away in some other competition – the lucky winners couldve cruised right into the VIP area in their very own glorious, Ana Matronic-grafitti-ed Suzuki!

But no, that would have required some thought and imagination (ok, and probably some more budget), instead of just writing a cheque to MTV’s sponsorship team.

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