For the 2020 awards, Sheeran inspired victory in another category – Music & Brand Partnership. Warner Music won the category despite tough competition.
A genuine fan of the sauce, Sheeran partnered with Heinz Ketchup for a memorable advertising campaign, including a limited edition Heinz ‘Edchup’ bottle. The advert has more than six million views on YouTube.
The campaign was initiated by a Twitter DM from Sheeran to the company.
Here, Bob Workman, SVP, brand partnerships, Warner Music UK, reflects on the “authentic” collaboration...
How does it feel to win this award amongst tough competition?
“It’s a genuinely great feeling. Mainly because it’s our first win, after so many years of being nominated. But it has also come along during this tough year for everyone and so it’s a great boost for my whole team. I’m particularly thrilled for my director, Kannayo Okolie, who ran this incredible project with such skill and precision.”
Why do you think you deserved to win?
“We were part of a really collaborative team that delivered an extraordinarily original and surprising creative campaign with an amazing artist and a brave, iconic brand. Ed has a tattoo of the Heinz Ketchup label on the inside of his left arm, and it’s not every day that we get to work with a brand where the artist has shown that level of commitment! There will literally never be a more authentic partnership. And Heinz deserves huge credit for the un-corporate way in which they allowed the whole campaign to be led by Ed. They didn’t even issue a press release. This was a genuine fan-first approach.”
What do you miss about the awards ceremony not being staged this year?
“Finally winning this great gong and not being able to celebrate into the night with my team is a bit of a blow…”
What does Ed Sheeran bring to a brand campaign in terms of recognition?
“Well, clearly, Ed brings scale, but he’s also incredibly likeable and relatable. We have never witnessed such levels of love and engagement from a campaign. And whilst his extraordinary love of the red sauce made the campaign really entertaining, it also had great integrity. Not least because Heinz and their agencies allowed Ed to realise his own creative idea.”
How has the brand partnerships business adjusted to the pandemic?
“We have had to resourcefully adjust to the absence of events, reduced content production and the confinement of ourselves and our artists. But home-spun, self-shot artist campaigns along with animation and more platform-focused opportunities have helped keep things busy, and I’m really excited about where we are headed.”
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