ROLLING STONES AS SUPER BOWL MEGA-BRAND

Rich Thomaselli Meets Mick Jagger, Marketing Genius

By Published on .

DETROIT (AdAge.com) -– Of all the companies represented here at Super Bowl XL, of all the blue-chip marketers who carefully manage their image, I think I just met the best brand steward of all.
Ad Age reporter Rich Thomaselli is reporting from Detroit.
Companion Reports:
SEARCHING THE SUPER BOWL FOR NEXT BIG ENDORSEMENT STAR
Few This Year Have Charisma to Carry National Ad Campaign
BOB GARFIELD SLAMS ROLLING STONES AS SUPER BOWL ACT
Watch The Original Ad Age Online Video Feature
DETROIT BLITZED BY SUPER BOWL 'ADVERTISING ZONES'
Rich Thomaselli Reports From Motor City
MARKETERS GET THEIR SUPER BOWL PARTY ON IN MOTOWN
Rich Thomaselli Reports From Motor City
CAN DETROIT HACK IT AS A SUPER BOWL ADVERTISERS' TOWN?
Rich Thomaselli Reports From Motor City

Mick Jagger, CEO, Rolling Stones.

The Stones are the musical performers during Sunday’s halftime show, which has become an event unto itself by attracting the biggest names in music. Of course, with U2 having played in 2002 and the Stones this year, the National Football League still has to secure Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in order to rightfully say it had the three greatest live rock 'n' and roll bands to perform at halftime.

But I digress.

The Rolling Stones held a sometimes-rowdy press conference yesterday afternoon -– Sir Mick dropped the F-bomb on live TV, as the press conference was being shown by the NFL Network with no delay –- but amidst the jokes and the laughs, this popped into my head:

They get it.

They get the whole idea of how to market their brand in a very unique, often transient industry where "success" is often determined by the tastes and whims of those barely old enough to drive.

A long time at the forefront
From the iconic cartoon logo of Mick’s mouth and tongue that forged their brand identity to sponsorship of their tours, the Rolling Stones have been trendsetters. Where others in their industry still think the idea of "marketing" is to put out a CD, appear on MTV’s "TRL" and book a few tour dates to support it, the Stones have been at the forefront. And they’ve been there for awhile.

The Stones’ current tour is being sponsored by Ameriquest. Quick research shows it is at least the ninth marketer the Stones have worked with on tour sponsorships, going all the

Photo: AP
Hawking the brand logos of his own band, as well as that of Sprint and the NFL, musician and marketing executive Mick Jagger meets the press in Detroit.
way back to the initial partnership with fragrance company Jovan for the 1981 "Tattoo You" tour. Other sponsors have included Sprint -– ironically the sponsor of this year’s halftime show -– E-Trade, AT&T Wireless and Budweiser.

Then there were the licensing deals with Ford Motor Co. and, later, Microsoft’s launch of Windows ’95 for the use of the song "Start Me Up" and its unmistakable opening guitar riff.

It’s been well-documented that Jagger is a dropout of the prestigious London School of Economics. Who knows? Maybe he was studying marketing at the time.

'Core values'
As wild as the band is, the Stones are nonetheless protective of their image, something Jagger alluded to at the press conference when asked why the band could play the Super Bowl now, and not, say, 20 years ago.

"America has obviously changed since we first came here. Almost unrecognizable, to be perfectly honest," he said. "The Super Bowl wasn’t like this [20 years ago]. You [media] guys wouldn’t have been here. It wasn't such a worldwide event. We've grown with American-culture changes, and America has changed a great deal."

Then, Mick being Mick, he brought the house down by adding, "Though both of us still have our core values intact."

In this article:
Most Popular