The Lord Group, a joint venture of advertising agencies Young & Rubicam and Japan’s Dentsu Inc., has been named agency of record by The CMJ Network, a publisher of music magazines.
Seven agencies pitched for the CMJ media and creative account, whose billings were not disclosed. The finalists included Stein Rogan + Partners, New York, and Source Communications, Hackensack, NJ. Stein Rogan previously had done project work for CMJ.
“We want to leverage CMJ’s reputation in identifying tomorrow’s music leaders before they become mainstream stars to build a brand platform to help them grow all of their properties,” said Jim Pharo, general manager of Lord. “Our first priority will be to help build consumer readership for CMJ's New Music Monthly.”
The move also confirms Lord, New York, as CMJ’s first agency of record since the publisher opened for business in 1978.
Lord is charged with developing a marketing and advertising strategy for CMJ, whose myriad properties include CMJ New Music Monthly magazine, CMJ New Music Trade Report and CMJ.com. It also owns CMJ Music Marathon and CMJ FilmFest events.
Tactics include direct, viral and guerrilla marketing, as well as print advertising. Online advertising also is planned.
“Direct, guerrilla and grass-roots marketing will be the key to achieving our goal,” Pharo said, adding that this was the cost-efficient way to reach magazine consumers and music fans.
CMJ joins a roster of Lord clients that includes Kraft Foods, Verizon and the Travel Industry Association of America. Billings last year were $175 million.
Lord used a different pitch for the CMJ account. While other agencies simply presented credentials, positioning ideas and an advertising program, Lord went a step further. It created a 24-page magazine about Lord in the graphic style and content of CMJ New Music Monthly.
This magazine listed the history and capabilities of Lord and boasted a print advertising portfolio running as placements throughout the magazines.
In addition, samples of Lord’s television and interactive work were enclosed on a CD-ROM and bound into the magazine, mimicking the real CMJ magazine’s CD sampler.
The magazine effort was capped by a four-color ad for Lord on the back of the book.
It didn’t end there.
To give a taste of the buzz the agency could create, Lord executives targeted CMJ with a guerrilla teaser campaign in the run-up to the pitch. The campaign focused on the tagline, “We are not a cult.” This refers to the confusion in people’s mind that Lord was a religious sect because of its name.
In a supporting viral marketing effort, CMJ executives were sent a digital postcard with the teaser message. CMJ employees that were surfing the DoubleClick ad network’s sites that week were served a banner with the same “We are not a cult” message.
Once clicked, this banner linked to a Web site — www.wearenotacult.com — that was created just for the pitch.