In February 2008, we were working on a new campaign for Ritz Crackers and we were exploring different music tracks to help bring the charming spot to life. Gira Moin, the Art Director on the project, suggested Jason Mraz’s single, I’m Yours. Hmm… At that point, I hadn’t heard of it.
But I should have.
Unless you’ve been trapped under a large fridge for the past 3 years, you know the hit. In late 2008, I’m Yours charted for a total of 76 weeks – the longest chart run in Billboard Music magazine history. It spent 9 weeks as number 1. It got nominated for 2 Grammy’s. And it invaded our brains with an infectious innocent chorus rivaled only by Hanson’s Mmmm Bop. Ummm, thanks. I think.
Now, take a moment and watch the first couple of minutes of this live performance of the song. While you’re enjoying it, ask yourself two questions:
- Does the crowd like the song?
- How well do they know the song?
A full 18 months before it was considered a success by traditional definitions, we witness thousands of fans on the other side of the world who know every beat, every note, every whistle, and every lyric from beginning to end. And if they knew the song this well in 2007, how long had they been hearing it for to get to that stage of passionate familiarity?
The digital universe hasn’t just changed the way we buy music. It has also changed the way we evaluate it. How do we define success? Is it downloads? Digital purchases? Streaming views? Who do we turn to for expertise when we’re not really sure what the experts should be tracking in the first place?
Put another way: Have our gold standards become our “old standards”? I think so.
Defining success is one of the biggest challenges facing marketers today. If we can’t agree what it looks like, how will we know when we get there?
Aside: In the end, we didn’t choose I’m Yours for our Ritz spot. Instead, we chose When I Go by Slow Club, a great duo from the UK. As I’m sure you’ll agree, the song is perfect.