Music Is My Hot Sex – Part 3 – Rizla

December 13, 2006 at 4:29 pm (Branding, Cansei De Ser Sexy, Planning, Rizla, Schemes)


So the CSS gig was supposedly part of the Rizla ‘Inspired By’ music series where they ‘celebrate inspirational icons of music from the past, present through to the emerging talent of today.’ Supposedly they went to CSS and they said Jarvis although it would appear that they already knew him and had worked with him and he only came out and sang the one duet. I didn’t know any of this until I checked out the Rizla website – there didn’t seem to be any Rizla branding anywhere except for the stupid video screens which you can see here and here.

So here is my beef

1) What do those videos say about Rizla and being inspired?

2) If this was a Rizla event then why, as a long time smoker of Rizla, did I have to pay £11 to get in?

3) Will any of the 1500 at the gig remember that it was anything to do with Rizla?

This is the thing that annoys me about brands getting involved with music, they very rarely get it right. I went to some Smirnoff Experience night a while ago at Koko and it was rubbish – a couple of free cocktails and loads of wack burlesque (seriously they had break-dancers! what is this 1996?) – I also went to the Diesel U Music awards and it was awful – what does it really do to promote music? The party afterwards had some of the worst sound I’ve ever heard and the room was just filled with 21 year old project managers – getting completely twatted on the free booze.

I don’t mind this but if it was my brand I’d be asking what are we actually getting from chucking our brand all over some shonky awards ceremony or on the side of a CSS gig. I think Red Bull has it right with their Music Academy – basically prove yourself and we’ll send you half way across the world to hang out and watch seminars by people like Madlib, Four Tet or ?uestlove which is actually giving something back to people who are into music. I don’t see how putting your logo on the wall is going to make people buy more Rizla?

What I would do – Ok so Rizla have a ‘inspired by’ series – they like music, art, comedy etc and want to be involved but I think they’re missing their most useful tol – the actual pack of Rizla. Imagine if you went to see CSS and they were giving away free Rizla that had a cool CSS design on them. Each band could have their own design, logo, colorway – it could become this huge collectable thing – kinda like Nike with the colorways and each basketball team has their own colors etc or Adidas with its city series. You could even have a series with different lyrics inside. Then if you were trying to be cool and down with the art kids why don’t you release ltd edition art Rizla – have a competition and get people to submit and then the winner gets on the pack. You could do so much with the packaging – ‘inspired by’ – why not have a ltd edition Maharishi pack or team up with some writers and have quotes from their new book or perhaps famous quotes – seriously it could be like the modern day cigarette cards. In the same way that H&M and everyone else have teamed up with designers etc why don’t you just use the packaging to show people how cool and down you are with the kids.

Anyway I doubt it will happen, brands still seem to think chucking a bit of a logo about at a gig will sell more of whatever they’re trying to sell and maybe its too much hastle but just think of the potential!



  1. A said,

    I had just started a similar debate and over at TapeClub (click above) In a tip of the hat to your call for comments I was lucky to be feedback from the person that threw the actual sponsered party. Perhaps, you should track down those Rizla folks (do they have an ‘inspired’ website?!) and talk their ear off.

  2. josh said,

    its your fault for going to a CSS concert…..Rizla is doing “cool” marketing…the type when you don’t even know they are around.

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