Sonos and Apple Music launch first-ever joint campaign called 'Music Makes It Home'

Sonos has launched its first ever collaborative marketing campaign with Apple Music, demonstrating how music in the home can transform family life.

Sonos: new campaign features celebs St Vincent and Killer Mike
Sonos: new campaign features celebs St Vincent and Killer Mike

The wide-ranging campaign centres on an exhaustive global study that shows the positive impact of music on families over time.

It also celebrates Apple Music's arrival onto the Sonos platform, announced in November last year.

There’s a natural resistance in a marketer who has worked with strong brands to collaboration – often it’s called co-branding. Urgh

The campaign comprises two elements. First the brand conducted a global study of 30,000 families, which found music in the home was positively correlated with more sex, higher relationship satisfaction, general happiness, the number of family meals together and getting others to help out with chores.

Secondly, Sonos chose a range of families to take part in a social experiment. As well as 'everyday' families, also included were those of several celebrities, such as St Vincent, Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike and The National’s Matt Berninger.

The families were initially deprived of music for a week, then given a Sonos wireless speaker system, with their behaviour tracked, using a mix of devices, including a Nest camera, an Apple Watch and iBeacons.

Sonos filmed both the celebrity and non-celebrity familes discussing how the lack of music affected their lives.

That footage has been edited into several ads that will air on TV from next week – initially during coverage of the Grammys in the US – as 30-second and 60-second spots. 

Sonos will also release shorter, digital-friendly versions, which will appear as GIFs on Tumblr and other online channels.

Unprecedented collaboration with Apple Music

The two ad spots end with the Sonos and Apple Music logos appearing side by side.

This is the first time Apple Music has produced a joint campaign, which Sonos chief marketing officer Joy Howard likens to a good "sneaker collaboration". (Howard was formerly vice-president of global marketing at Converse.)

She told Marketing: "There’s a natural resistance in a marketer who has worked with strong brands to collaboration – often it’s called co-branding. Urgh.

"But somewhere [after] my ‘urgh’ at co-branding, I remembered all the great sneaker collaborations I had worked on. This could just be a great collaboration."

As part of the tie-up, Sonos’ partnership marketing team have been working with their counterparts at Apple, said Howard.

She added: "We talked to each other naturally about joining forces to leverage what each of us has that the other wants."

In Apple Music’s case, it’s the 5m music-streaming households that own a Sonos wireless speaker system, but might be paying for rival subscription services such as Spotify.

For Sonos, it’s access to valuable, music-loving consumers, namely the iTunes customer base.

Asked by Marketing how Apple Music and Sonos had split the bill for the campaign, Howard said: "How do you value an email to the iTunes user base? How do you value [an iPhone]? They are putting skin in the game, we’re definitely putting skin in the game. It’s all proportional to our ability."

And what was it like to work with the famously secretive Apple?

Howard admitted that collaborative marketing had been a "steep learning curve", but pointed out that Sonos is hugely dependent on its partnerships. The service relies on the success (and goodwill) of partners such as SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple Music.

Howard said: "I found Apple to be supportive, encouraging and warm. We’ve had moments where we’ve disagreed, and it’s come from a place of mutual respect. There are hard parts about it – the hardest is just co-ordinating timings and calendars."

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