The Shelf Life of a Grammy Win for Artist Relations

Does a Grammy win have any impact on a company’s artist relations strategies? I’m asking under the assumption that said winner/artist is already using or endorsing said company’s products. Are there some bragging rights that can be leveraged? Movies that are associated with an Oscar win always promote the fact in their marketing post-award and I’ve been thinking about how a Grammy award can work.

I remember way back in 2003 when Norah Jones took home five Grammy awards. Her FOH mixer at that time, Lee Moro, was emailing me during the telecast each time she was called up on stage to receive an award. “Ten more feet of truck space.” Another award, “just got ten more feet of truck space.” And so on. And sure enough, when Norah did her next tour, there was an additional truckload of goodies for the sound crew.  How ‘bout those analytics!

I should point out that I’m not talking about the actual award telecast. Equipment, gear, products or whatever you want to call it for that is a different beast. Much is used based on a technical partnership born out of the need of the production (massive amounts of wireless mics, for instance). On other end of the spectrum, those greasy corporate “branding” swag bags now increasingly pass for artist relationships for some misguided companies.

The broadcast is its own spectacle -at times masterful and at other times cringe inducing. I’m always amused how two different views of a performance, both by people who know, can be so polar opposite. The other day Shelby Lynne posted about the simplistic beauty of John Legend playing piano and singing at the Grammy show. That same day the Los Angeles Times ran an article that, among several criticisms of the show, pointed out how boring (their words) the John Legend performance was. To each his or her own, right?

I had the great fortune last night to visit, and spend time, with John McBride from Blackbird Studios in Nashville. He was in town mixing FOH sound for his wife, country star, Martina McBride. I posed the Grammy question to him during a break and he replied, “two days.” Two days, in his opinion, are what the Grammy’s are worth to an artist and related affiliates. Martina has won one Grammy and a boatload of CMA and other awards so he knows what he is talking about. John added an additional interesting tidbit to the conversation too. In his opinion, the daytime talk shows such as “Ellen” offer artists far more visibility these days than the slew of late night shows.

I suspect that, as with any news in these times, a Grammy win will be a great victory but short lived – certainly not enough clout to wrap a long-term marketing effort around. So, be ready for some immediate opportunities-singers especially will be photographed in post-Grammy glory. Grab the bragging rights, make hay, and move on.