Published on October 21, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. by Ally Denton.
Nashville-based agency FlyteVu connects brands to consumers through music, pop culture and entertainment. Established only four years ago, it has created various wildly successful campaigns like the Dolly Parton + Pentatonix “Jolene” remix for Cracker Barrel and the Serena Williams x Bumble “In Her Court” collaboration. FlyteVu’s approach to these strategic partnerships allows its clients to reach their
target audiences and build their brand identities.
In a Huffpost article, Laura Hutfless, FlyteVu’s co-founder, said, “There was a gap in the industry for a neutral agency that sits inside the music/entertainment industry and works on behalf of brands. We started FlyteVu to fill that void.” The agency begins ideating with its clients’ goals in mind and develops custom campaigns that amplify and extend the brands’ stories.
Music is a universal language and plays a major role in FlyteVu’s campaigns and brand partnerships. Director of Public Relations Natalie Logan explained, “At FlyteVu, we know [music] is a bridge of communication to any audience that a brand wants to reach — and if we can leave a consumer feeling an emotion they will never forget, we have filled the gap between connecting a brand to a consumer.”
FlyteVu assisted Cracker Barrel in its mission to reach a younger audience while maintaining relevance with its core consumers. To accomplish this goal, FlyteVu paired Dolly Parton with Pentatonix, an a capella group, to perform “Jolene” to support the release of Parton’s exclusive edition “Pure & Simple” album debuting at Cracker Barrel. The collaboration was filmed on a set that resembled the quintessential Cracker Barrel front porch and was released on Pentatonix’s YouTube page, reaching millions of younger fans.
Their “Jolene” remix resulted in Parton winning her first Grammy award for the famous song, over 40 years after its release. FlyteVu surpassed industry standards by crafting this partnership and creating the first brand-powered Grammy win. This campaign exemplifies how FlyteVu’s strategic partnerships and innovative ideas assist clients in reaching their goals.
Selecting appropriate talent for partnerships directly contributes to the success of a campaign. Logan emphasized that the number one priority in selecting talent is “that the talent resonates with the demographic we are targeting, and that the audience views the talent as a trusted voice.” She mentioned that examining a talent’s social media following and demographics and noting if they’re releasing new work are vital to finding what works. Logan added, “There is, of course, a deeper vetting process to ensure the talent truly aligns with the brand’s mission, vision and values.”
Developing authentic partnerships is essential to furthering a brand’s story and ensuring consumer acclaim. Whitney Byerly, the director of creative and talent at FlyteVu, noted that “when an artist collaborates with a brand, and when done authentically and strategically, the affinity transfers to the fan.”
“The partnership has to make sense for the talent and brand. Writing a check to a big name and hoping it connects with an audience just doesn’t work. Consumers are way too smart,” stated Logan. FlyteVu focuses on authenticity when matching talent and brands — as seen in its recent campaigns for Bumble, a social networking app, which featured big names, Serena Williams and Jameela Jamil.
FlyteVu was challenged with tying Bumble’s mission of “making the first move” with notable talent that would help amplify this message. The agency connected Bumble with Serena Williams to create the “In Her Court” campaign — reminding women they have the power to make the first move. Bumble stated that this partnership would “reinforce the brand’s mission to end misogyny and empower women around the
world.” The “In Her Court” campaign garnered one billion earned media impressions and over two million views of the commercial on YouTube — proving that FlyteVu knows what it’s doing when pairing talent and brands.
FlyteVu also assisted in teaming up actress and activist Jameela Jamil with Bumble to combat the worrying social issue of widespread loneliness. According to a Cigna study, about 60% of Gen Z have felt left out or isolated from others. The “#AskingForAFriend” campaign launched on International Friendship Day and focuses on normalizing “the need to form new friendships throughout life and supporting women to do so” (Harper’s Bazaar).
Byerly noted that “Serena’s and Jameela’s campaigns were thoughtful to what talent is passionate about while coinciding with brand mission and campaign. The campaigns were also not single-dimensional like many talent campaigns, but rather were multi-touchpoint; they involved social/digital strategies, PR, event, content, charity, etc.”
Logan acknowledged these campaigns with Williams and Jamil wouldn’t have made sense, or connected as well as they did, had they partnered with anyone else. However, she advises other brands to remember “that it doesn’t take a big name like Serena or Jameela to increase awareness. Those kinds of deals might be years down the road for a brand, but there are still incredible opportunities for companies to partner with talent and make a huge impact.”
Brands should know the value of their owned and controlled assets. Logan suggests asking questions like, “What marketing assets does your brand have to support a partner’s initiatives? Is there a charitable component that is a ‘win’ for talent?” She asserted that “all of these things play into a celebrity deal. It is all about identifying the assets your brand internally controls, proving their worth, and using them the right way.”
Identifying a brand’s value and strategically partnering with a celebrity drives “consumers to buy, attend, download, follow or participate in your brand’s call to action or barrier of entry,” according to Logan. This step is crucial for campaigns and often leads to improved brand awareness and consumer interest.
Byerly noted that “the majority of our agency comes from an entertainment background, so through our relationships, we have lots of ears to the ground on what and who is coming down the pipeline.” For FlyteVu, strategic relationships play directly into the creative process of the campaign. Selecting appropriate partners brings a campaign to life and creates unique, robust opportunities for brands and talent alike.
FlyteVu, named in AdWeek’s 100: Fastest Growing Agencies, continues to make headlines by executing compelling campaigns. The use of calculated brand and talent pairings and innovative strategies allow FlyteVu to break barriers in the entertainment and music PR industry. For more information about the agency, visit its website flytevu.com.