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Entertainment in Focus: Copa90 share how "music and football can save us"

created on Thursday 22 Jun 2017

Copa90’s James Kirkham and Connor McNicholas introduced their session at the Entertainment in Focus stage with the preface that it was a talk with “incredibly lofty ambitions” – one that would hopefully make us “think differently about the work that we’re doing.” And they weren’t wrong: in lightning quick speed, they delivered a precis of the rules for making brand relationships work in music and football today. 

To begin, they played a clip of rival French and English fans singing Oasis’ Don’t Look Back in Anger at a recent friendly. This, they explained, was the crux of what they were talking about: the moment of unity following a recent terror attack was the perfect demonstration of the incredible chemistry that exists between fans, music and football. 
“In our agency, we’ve banned the use of the word ‘consumer’. It’s corrosive. It implies that people have an entirely passive relationship.”
Connor McNicholas
And there’s room for brands in this mix, Kirkham argued. In fact, “We think brands have every right to leverage these passion points.” 

“In our agency, we’ve banned the use of the word ‘consumer’. It’s corrosive,” McNicholas shared. “It implies that people have an entirely passive relationship.” But as passionate and loyal football and music fans show, they argued, this couldn’t be more wrong. 

Brands have the power to increase connections in an increasingly divided world, they continued. But, McNicholas pointed out, there are rules that need to be observed if you’re to become a “passion brand.” And he helpfully summarised them for us: 

1. Stand for something more than just profit: “It can’t solely be about the bottom line.” 

2. Be the hub, not just the broadcaster: “Be a facilitator for wider conversations.” 

3. Impact our culture: “Not just your bottom line.” 

4. When you find someone who loves you, don’t forget to love them back: You can “create a brilliant emotional bond, far greater than a transient piece of advertising.”

To end the session, the pair urged: “The passion you feel at an amazing gig or football match, let’s bring that to our work, our thinking and our strategy.”