183 – Marcie Allen of MAC Presents and Taylor Bennett – The Story of Music and Brands

Partnering music and brands with MAC Presents…

Photo credit: Derek Garlington

Marcie Allen, President of MAC Presents (music experiential agency , bridge gap between corporate gap and music industry – (bio)), and musician, entrepreneur and philanthropist Taylor Bennett (bio), join Pavan Bahl, Rob Sanchez, and Marc Raco for the most applause-laden interview in the show’s history on location at Subculture in New York City. This live audience episode is powered by Peerspace and features music by Casey McQuillen.

Representing the deal, a seat at the adult table, and a market for authentic stories

Photo credit: Derek Garlington

Allen reviews her “Southern belle debutante sorority girl” roots, being raised by two grandmothers, attending sixteen schools before fifth grade, then how she started her first company at 25, being a storyteller and solid salesperson, having knowledge on both sides of the music industry, being in music industry representing the deal, and how bad deals aren’t authentic or tell a story. The importance of paying it forward, measuring ROI in music/brand sponsorships, and how fashion brands are being introduced to entertainment marketing and mass consumer marketing. Allen’s creative things used in repertoire to bring allegiance, consideration of the music industry’s album sales being down, how 10 years ago no one wanted to do a sponsorship in music, and now music artists have a seat at the “adult table”. How a deal with Billy Joel and Citi was of value even though he didn’t need the marketing, how a deal like that can move the needle in a variety of ways for an artist, tracking metrics and how brands can measure success, lifting sales and getting press, how Imagine Dragons’ deal with Southwest Airlines produced a billion press impressions, and whether musical artists are celebrity influencers. How much of sponsorship with musical artists is the cool factor, how music is one of the most powerful ways to connect with consumers, and the Urban Outfitters partnership with Taylor Bennett for Pride Month happened because he came out as bisexual, and how that was so authentic. Consumers can smell through non-authentic sponsorships, the return of cassettes, and what’s fascinating about artists.

Gen Z, understanding the win, and measuring ROI

Deals with enterprise/blue chip companies, Khalid and Forever 21, Chance the Rapper with H & M, plus Taylor Bennett and Urban Outfitters, and how it’s about teamwork and women in the music industry. How artists have a groundswell of support from Gen Z, how brands don’t understand them, and they love fashion, and how brands are missing it. The absence of a major luxury brands who has done a deal with a developing artist, how fashion and music partnerships have exploded in the last year, and fashion brands are a way to reach a mass audience and global audience, so it isn’t as much about money. Sponsorship investments with large acts are at a fraction of the cost that other kinds of brands would pay because of the coolness factor and the reach of fashion brands for artists. Brands have to share what a win is – it is crucial. And, the need to focus more on the heartland of America. The story means everything, looking at what is the story that can be built around the artists and what brand will make sense is MAC Presents goes after. Knowing what are the important concerns, how brands are so focused on the latest technology, but ultimately it is about sitting down on both sides and finding out what is important to both sides. And, one has to be able to measure ROI.

Urban Outfitters, owning both sides of the business, and a surprise live performance

Photo credit: Derek Garlington

Taylor Bennett joins the interview, discussing how the partnership with Urban Outfitters fits into the vision of his career. The importance of being your authentic self, on coming out bisexual on Twitter, how the brand is a lifestyle and culture, a message of anti-bullying, needing a creative space to be yourself, how the brand has supporter urban artists. The natural, organic story, partnering with Bennett as a face for Pride month, how Bennett is controlling his own business and the revenue from streamed music, controlling the creative and

Photo credit: Derek Garlington

business sides, and how he and his business partners hold meetings after changing into suits in the bathroom. Off the Grid Questions cover a grandmother’s ceramic frog smoking a pipe, real world skills, a college counselor going in a different direction, a surprise performance of an early rap, a regretted missed opportunity, Cara Lewis, chasing dreams, messages to the community, women empowerment, being a professor, grabbing your future for yourself and getting it done, and an impromptu live final thought rap performance by Bennett.


CLG Cara Lewis


Walk the Moon

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