Microsoft & Golden Dawn Arkestra [2017]

Gabriel Gornell and LocoDistro are excited to be collaborating with Microsoft this fall—consulting and providing music entertainment for their Travel Summit in legendary music city—Austin, Texas.

Equally thrilled to be working with Austin’s own funk-jazz futurists Golden Dawn Arkestra. Keep Austin Weird!

Pirate Studios UK [2017]

Provide on-going executive-level council to the London-based music studio brand (currently with 9 locations across the UK) in areas of business strategy, brand strategy + expansion planning with regard to their North American roll-out beginning in 2017.

Strategic initiatives included:
– Target Analysis + Segmentation (both Consumer + B to B)
– Buying Criteria Analysis (both Consumer + B to B)
– Competitive Analysis + White space Mapping
—Oversight of Studio Set Up + Equipment Bidding
– Messaging Strategy
—Special Event & Sponsorship Initiatives like SXSW

 

SXSW 2017

We’re off to SXSW tomorrow (March 13) with our new client Pirate Studios who (with an ‘artist-first’ approach) is reinventing rehearsal studios for the music industry globally.

We’ll also be taking meetings on behalf of client JA Films (#RollingStones, #Adele, #EdSheeran).

Meet with us at the @Live4everMedia Lounge at the Omni.  Email GabrielGornell@LocoDistro.com if you wanna meet up to talk music branding, distribution, and 360º packaging.

Branding your Music— 6 reasons for Consistency.

Written by Gabriel Gornell

Gabriel Gornell is a branding, production, and distribution executive who has worked with countless artists that range from The Rolling Stones to Oscar the Grouch.

If your band’s attractive lead singer gets 300 likes for every pouty pic on Instagram—but you struggle to get 50 people to come to your gigs—you’ve got great reach but terrible impact. Same holds true for established acts just a few years out of their prime who have a respectable Facebook following—but struggle to get decent festival bookings.

Of course there are many factors involved in branding your music project (like the actual music for instance) but this post focuses on the importance of consistency.

Across the go-to social platforms, messaging from both established acts and emerging acts compete against millions of posts from hundreds of thousands of artists. Snoop Dogg alone puts up 5-10 Instagrams per day.

Further complicating, even if you do break through the clutter, ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ aren’t the only measure of your branding success. Don’t get us wrong—the reach you can get from Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook is awesome. But reach is not the same thing as impact. So how can your posts possibly stand out? Have any impact? And how can you convert ‘likes’ to ‘listens’ on a distribution platform like SoundCloud? This article explains why consistency helps.

The Van Halen logo will be our obvious example. This mark has changed very little since 1978, and regardless of who’s singing—it represents the Van Halen brand. Almost 40 years later, the Van Halen brand is so strong—they’ve survived 3 singers, internal feuds, Wolfgang on bass, and lots more. Obviously they back up their brand-promise with a guitar god, Diamond Dave, classic records, and a great mythology that all work together. But for the most part—long before social media mattered— they’ve been consistent with regard to their identity materials. They’ve actually been more consistent than The Rolling Stones who create a new tongue treatment for every tour and every album. In a sense, Van Halen has become the Coca-Cola of Rock n’ Roll branding. And here is why Van Halen-like consistency will help your music project.

Reason #1 The most obvious benefit of consistency is increased awareness because the more your audience is exposed to your brand—the better their chances of remembering it. And simply put, if you keep changing it there is less chance your audience will remember it. ‘Effective frequency’ is the marketing lingo for this. Understanding all the competition and clutter out there—even the old advertising ‘Rule of 7’ probably isn’t enough anymore.

The Rule of 7 states that a customer needs to “hear” a marketing message at least 7 times before they’ll buy that product or service.

Today most marketing experts put effective frequency numbers much higher than just 7 times. But wherever you think it is for your particular audience (7 times, 20x, 100x) one thing everyone generally agrees on is that messages are more effective when repeated. So don’t waste your brand impressions by being inconsistent!

The benefit of effective frequency and consistency working together is true across all entertainment mediums. Have you ever seen a televised award show where the show logo is different in the on-air promos, the step-and-repeat, and the animated show open? One show with three logos happens more than you’d expect (not mentioning any producer names). Not surprising, the network then wonders why their unaided awareness numbers are slipping. Partially they’re slipping because televised award shows have become boring as shit. But it’s also because their brand team doesn’t keep a watchful eye—and their effective frequency is watered down by inconsistent branding.

Reason #2 Consistency conveys your identity and attitude. A focused effort to establish and maintain consistent branding across all your touchpoints (social, website, SoundCloud page, EPKs, etc.) will deliver a specific set of impressions. Do you follow through? Will you deliver a decent bar tab? Will you get the ratings? Will you sell the tickets?

Reason #3 Consistency helps you manage perceptions. By thinking deliberately about your brand message and what you’re trying to accomplish—you control how people perceive your music project. This goes beyond your fans—it also helps manage what promoters, venues, labels, and sponsors think of you.

Reason #4 Consistency connotes professionalism and stability. Let’s be honest—labels, promoters, distribution partners, and sponsors hate instability. In 2017, even Guns N’ Roses show up on time—and all of their current materials reference their ‘Not In This Lifetime’ tour with impressive consistency. So act like a stable organization!

Reason #5 Consistency eliminates issues surrounding brand confusion. For many emerging music acts (especially emerging DJs… no digs intended), their branding is actually more of a hindrance than a help. A consistent brand should instill confidence rather than prompt confusion. Which EDM artist was that again?

Reason #6 Consistency protects your investment. Without established brand standards—many labels, managers, and producers will spend thousands of dollars building a brand—only to have it degraded by inconsistent and sloppy application. Build equity in your brand by being consistent and build upon previous successes.

In a nutshell, be Van Halen. Be consistent.

 

Tell me what you want. What you really really want.

The first step in defining your music brand. Early in my career (which started in advertising way before social media) we were taught to memorize Ogilvy’s definition of a brand.

“The intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised.” —David Ogilvy

Many years later, this simple yet telegraphic definition is still the best. And it holds true regardless of whether the brand is a toothpaste or a rock band— though for bands, there are some obvious additions to the list. Regardless… how do you define and guide an emerging brand/band when most of these elements aren’t yet known? By writing down what it is that you want!

For us—Every successful distribution plan. Every marketing plan. Every identity plan. And every concert film starts with some basic branding exercises. And if your brand isn’t yet defined, start by telling us what you want. Give us your top ten.

For any emerging artist or music project we urge you to start by simply making a list of the top ten things that you’d like to accomplish. And there are no wrong answers!

  • Release a record
  • Sell my concert film to Netflix
  • Put $100K into a savings account within 18 months.
  • Write 20 new songs
  • Book two gigs per month
  • Whatever they are, they are!

The music side of the entertainment business is a challenging winding journey to say the least. So give your projects their best chance by clearly defining your goals upfront—so that you may then develop strong strategic plans to accomplish those goals.

From a sales and distribution standpoint—clearly defining where you’re going and how you’re going to get there will soon be as much of your brand as your music.

(Funny aside, I actually shot a commercial for the Spice Girls dolls during my advertising years. They are probably worth a ton today!)

 

JA Films [2016-Present]

Excited to provide on-going distribution, packaging, and brand consulting  to the leading UK production company—JA Films.

Founded in 2009, JA Films (formerly known as JA Digital) is an award-winning, creative-led production company run by industry expert, Julie Jakobek. We exist to produce captivating films and content for global cinema events, DVD, TV and digital.

JA Films employs world class producers, directors, creatives and technicians, each team carefully selected for each production. Multi-award winning director Paul Dugdale is JA Films lead director and recent films have led to two Grammy nominations in the Best Music Film category and further nominations and wins in the Best Music Film, Best Live Coverage and Best Music Programme categories.

MAP Records, Nashville [2016]

Provided executive-level support in areas of business strategy, brand strategy + distribution counsel to the Country-focused music-tech initiative based out of Nashville, TN.

Strategic initiatives included:

– Target Analysis + Segmentation (both Consumer + B to B)
– Buying Criteria Analysis (both Consumer + B to B)
– Competitive Analysis + White space Mapping
– Messaging Strategy

Tactical initiatives included:

360 ̊ Distribution Strategy and Message Planning in areas of Events, Digital Distribution, Cross-platform, Physical Distribution, Video Distribution, PR, Social Media, List Management, and Advertising.

Gabriel Gornell

gabe_masksEntertainment Architect

A seasoned, results-driven, corporate-process anarchist—Gabriel creates disruptive strategies and solutions for artists and entertainment businesses by offering unconventional approaches to concept development, entertainment branding, 360° distribution, and production. As a passionately independent content creator—Gabriel is a Sundance winner, 2x Worldfest Gold winner, Adweek BestSpots winner, and a featured filmmaker at the MoMA.

As Executive Producer, Gabriel has worked closely with such entertainment brands as Discovery, HBO, History, Lionsgate, Marvel (including Avengers, Hulk, Spiderman, X-Men), Nat Geo, NBC, Scripps, Starz, and Turner—as well as with music icons including DeBarge/Bunny DeBarge, Doug E. Fresh, Il Volo, InnerPartySystem, Chris Isaak, Wynonna Judd, Alison Krauss, Tim McGraw, Oscar the Grouch & Anderson Cooper (Emmy duet), Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, and The Rolling Stones.

In 2012, Gabriel was selected by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to be Executive Producer of “The 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards” (broadcast live on Turner/HLN) to reinvent the classic Emmy brand—overseeing every element of the event, production, telecast (distribution), and branding. Also in 2012, Gabriel served as Executive Producer along side Spike Lee on the music-themed hip hop horror movie “You’re Nobody til Somebody Kills You” distributed by Lionsgate. In 2013, Gabriel returned as Executive Producer of “The 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards” to record media impressions.

As a distributor, between 2011 and 2016, he acquired such pictures for sales & distribution as “For Greater Glory” with Andy Garcia and Eva Longoria, “Hotel Noir” with Danny DeVito, Mandy Moore, and Rosario Dawson, “Girl Walks Into A Bar” with Carla Gugino, Zach Quinto, Danny DeVito, Josh Hartnett and Emmanuelle Chriqui, “The Hot Potato” with Ray Winstone and Jack Huston, and “Roadie” with Ron Eldard, Bobby Cannavale, and Jill Hennessy.

Other executive credits include “Last Stand of the 300” (Top 10 Best Sword Fighting Movie of All Time, Star Wars Insider Magazine, Feb 2012), “Kenny Rogers First 50 Years” (GAC & BBC International 2011), “Tyrannosaurus Sex” (Top 10 Must List, Entertainment Weekly, 2010), “Battle BC” (3 of 4 Stars, People Magazine, 2009), “Journey to 10,000 BC” (History, 2008), “The Wire” (HBO, 2007), and “Rome Engineering an Empire” (Emmy Winner, 2005).

Branding highlights include roles as advertising Creative Director for Mudd Jeans from 2004- 2005 helping the brand peak in sales to almost $1 billion per year at retail. He was also Creative Director for The Rolling Stones overseeing their merchandising marketing in 2005-06 during the album and tour A Bigger Bang which delivered almost $250 million in merchandising sales. In varying agency and direct-to-client capacities, Gabriel has worked with such brands as Canon, Ford, Godiva, Hasbro, Shiseido, Starbucks, Mercedes-Benz, and more.

Presently, Gabriel maintains both indie and high-profile clients in music, television, and technology. Notable projects include developing NY Times bestseller “I’m with the Band” by Pamela Des Barres into a feature film and representing the highly acclaimed music documentary following the The Rolling Stones through South America and Cuba entitled Olé Olé Olé!: A Trip Across Latin America. Gabriel’s process and involvement directly led to the 2017 television distribution deal in the US.

20 Best Band Logos

band_logos_resizeAs an entertainment exec with on-going projects that straddle production, distribution, and branding—I’m always taken by how often entertainment properties (music, film, TV, event) seem to forego basic marketing concepts. This post isn’t going to delve into deep strategy—but it will ‘shine a light’ on some awesome band logos! Here are my 20 favorite band logos—along with a couple honorable mentions. Enjoy.

20_iron_maiden

 

Iron Maiden: Likely inspired by the movie poster for 1976’s ‘The Man To Fell To Earth’, the classic band logo was supposedly created by bassist Steve Harris and has been used since the band’s 1979 debut. Other reports credit the logo to British artist Derek Riggs who is best known for creating the legendary mascot Eddie—and countless album covers.

 

 

19_metallica

Metallica: Guitarist James Hetfield created this piece of rock history in the 80s. It’s simplicity, aggressiveness, and balance make it a near perfect rock n’ roll logo. Plus it’s got lightening bolts, which are basically the “more cowbell” of rock logo design. Hetfield also created the band’s 1996 version as well the band’s ninja star marks. Ninja stars and lightening bolts. Awesome.

 

 

 

18_abba

ᗅᗺᗷᗅ: The official logo was designed by Rune Söderqvist, and appeared for the first time on ‘Dancing Queen’ in 1976. Since then, it’s appeared on every album and single. There are conflicting reports on the origin of the backwards B but regardless ‘Mama Mia’ fans can happily recreate it by using the bold version of the News Gothic typeface.

 

 

 

 

17_grateful_dead

 

The Grateful Dead: The Dead’s logo was designed by Owsley Stanley and rendered by Bob Thomas. Amongst the deadheads, this mark is best known as the ‘Steal your Face’ logo, which is named after the band’s 1976 live album of the same name. That said, the mark it first appeared on the cover of ‘History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One’ from 1973.

 

 

16_aerosmith

 

Aerosmith: Guitarist Raymond Tabano only played with the band until 1971—but certainly his mark by designing one of the most recognized band logos in rock history. First seen on the 1974 album ‘Get Your Wings’ it continues to represent the band to this day.

 

 

 

15_bauhaus

 

Bauhaus: This one may not count. The Bauhaus logo was originally designed by Oskar Schlemmer in 1922 for the Bauhaus school in Germany. Can the band get credit for simply adopting it as their own? This entire list isn’t all that serious—so why not?

 

 

 

14_black_flag

 

Black Flag: This logo was designed by American artist Raymond Pettibon (aka Raymond Ginn) who happens to be the brother of Black Flag guitarist/founder Greg Ginn around 1977. Pettibon also named the band (previously called Panic) which was to represent opposite of a white flag of surrender.

 

 

13_the_cramps

 

The Cramps: Part punk, part rockabilly, and possibly the creators of Psychobilly—the wackadoos known as The Cramps cemented their place in retro-rock kitsch culture when frontman Lux Interior based the band’s logo from EC Comics’ title ‘Tales From the Crypt.’

 

 

 

12_daft_punk

 

The French duo’s logo is as enigmatic as the band itself. Thomas Bangalter (one half the duo) once explained “To us, the Daft Punk logo should be the star – the concept is to keep us more low-profile than the music itself.” We’re unsure of the logo’s origin, but electronic fans will be happy to know a font was created called Daft Font (credit to MatreroG) which is pretty damn close!

 

 

11_scissor_sistersThe Scissor Sisters’ logo was designed by the band’s guitarist Scott “Babydaddy” Hoffman in 2001 immediately after frontman/singer Jake Shears came up with the band name—which happens to be a slang expression for lesbians. Babydaddy recalls “He told it to me, and I made the logo the next day” by merging the two everyday images.

PRINCE RIP. In the world of merging two familiar images to create a new mark—an honorable mention must be given to Prince for his 1993 unpronounceable logo – known as the “Love Symbol” – which incorporates the images for Mars (male) and Venus (female). Extra points because the Purple one has turned this into some very cool custom guitars

10_anthrax

 

NYC thrash legends Anthrax have stood the test of time—as has their aggressive angular logo. The logo, as well as the band’s first album cover (1983’s ‘Fistful of Metal’) were designed by Kent Joshpe. The band’s creative direction was simple—make it feel like a guy’s face was being punched through from the back of his head. Damn Daniel! Over the years, their pointy logo has been on everything from baseball caps to wristbands to the all important measure of success—painted denim jackets.

 

09_nin

 

The Nine Inch Nails logo was designed in 1989 by Trent Reznor and Gary Talpas, who worked as art director on albums through 1997. The type treatment was inspired by the sleeve of Talking Heads’ ‘Remain In Light’ album which also featured bold type—but flopped the A’s in a similar fashion to the flopped N of the NIN logo. The logo first appeared within the music video for Nine Inch Nails’ debut single, “Down in It.”

 

08_new_york_dolls

 

In the early 70s everything about this band was split. In fact, in a Creem magazine poll, The New York Dolls were elected both best and worst new group of 1973. They were pre-punk, pre-glam, and 40 years later they are recognized as one of the most influential band’s of all time. Their smudged lipstick logo led the charge first appearing on their self-titled debut.

 

 

07_mtb

MTB: It’s been with the band since 1971—and GRAMMY® Magazine featured it as one of the ten most distinctive artist logos that “need no introduction” along with some others from my list here.

Allman Brothers Band While honoring this countrified (or country fried?) type-driven style, it’s hard to completely ignore the also-famous logo for The Allman Brothers Band. But for readability and impact—we went with MTB as our first choice.

 

06_the_who

 

Contrary to popular belief, this pop art-inspired logo has actually never appeared on an album by The Who. It was designed by Brian Pike in 1964 for a poster advertising the group’s gig at London’s Marquee club. It subsequently found its way onto thousands of pins, badges, t-shirts, notebooks, and denim jackets becoming a key element of mod iconography.
05_kiss

KISS’ first lead guitarist, Ace Frehley, came up with the famous logo which first appeared on the band’s second album, ‘Hotter Than Hell’ in 1974. What’s the key to the logo success? You got it, lightening bolts! Interestingly, the German version of the KISS logo is differently because the two S lightening bolts too closely resemble the Nazi SS symbol with is illegal to depict in Germany. Kinda hard to have an issue with this modification.

 

 

04_acdc

AC/DC’s logo was designed by Atlantic Records creative art director Bob Defrin and the now legendary logo made its debut on the international edition of ‘Let There Be Rock.’ Hmmm… it’s actually one of four logos on this top 20 list to feature lightening bolts. Got that young bands? When in doubt, add lightening bolts. And with this in our #4 spot, Axl sort of made our list. Sort of.

 

 

 

03_pil

 

John Lydon came up for the idea for this logo for his post-Sex Pistols band, Public Image Ltd., and wanted it to resemble an aspirin—get it? The artist he commissioned to design the logo was Dennis Morris, who had previously been the Sex Pistols’ official photographer.

Sex Pistols Honorable mention should go to Jamie Reid for designing the Sex Pistols logo in 1977. The Sex Pistols logo didn’t make this list because although I love Lydon—I just couldn’t give him two logos on the same list. Piss off.

 

02_van_halen

The Van Halen mark is probably the most scribbled band logo of all time on school lockers, desks, and notebooks! Designed by Dave Bhang, The stylized VH logo is an example of formal design perfection – although, interestingly, they changed its wings from angular to curvy to announce the arrival of Sammy Hagar on ‘5150’ in 1986. In retrospect… I really like Sammy.

 

 

 

01_rolling_stones

No surprise here. But it’s freaking undeniable. The Rolling Stones’ world-famous logo was designed by art student John Pasche in 1970—and on the ‘Sticky Fingers’ album in 1971. Poor Pasche was paid just £250 over a period of two years for his work. Supposedly, the logo was equally inspired by the mouths of both Mick Jagger and the Hindu goddess Kali. Sorry Miss P, but personally, I’d rather make out with Kali.

The Rolling Stones – Olé Olé Olé: A Trip Across Latin America (2016 JA Films)

TIFF 2016: Provided brand strategy + distribution counsel to the world-renown JA Films (London) on critically acclaimed music doc “The Rolling Stones – Olé Olé Olé: A Trip Across Latin America”, directed by Paul Dugdale—which screened FIVE TIMES at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Critical involvement in the US Premium Cable Premier—to be announced.

– US Network Liaison
– International All-rights Buyers Liaison
– List Management and DDM
– Social Media
– Relationship Marketing