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Gail Federici Headshot

Striking the Right Chord; Music and Marketing

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I love music. I was actually in the music business for about five years after we sold our hair care company in 2002, John Frieda PHC. It was a roller coaster ride. I was working in a completely alien industry, out of my comfort zone. I loved it and hated it at the same time. It "hurt so good".

So every year I look forward to the Grammys. I like to be entertained. There is nothing like watching an anthem being performed, or being held captive by a new sound, or listening in on an intimate performance, or seeing a spectacle. I am unapologetically happy when performers are successful in manipulating me. Whether they do it through a catchy tune and beat like "Blurred Lines" or a happy, nostalgic performance a la Ringo Starr's "Photograph", or the absolute joy of Pharrell Williams' "Happy". I am in heaven.

I've always paid attention to pop culture, not because I had to, but because I wanted to. And what seemed to be no more than a guilty pleasure turned out to be instrumental to my success over the years. Having spent most of my life marketing to girls 15-40, weaving current music into our marketing and advertising campaigns seemed to strike the right chord. Popular culture connects people of a generation. It is relatable. It's fun. It gives a brand a personality. It makes the consumer feel that you are on the same page.

It's that personal passion for music that was the inspiration behind the first commercial we shot at John Frieda. We hired renowned music video director Dave Meyers to shoot a mini MTV-type commercial geared to 16-35 year olds. It became an iconic commercial for our brand, Sheer Blonde.

Because we are genuinely interested in pop culture, it seeps into our corporate culture. It's why we named a recent hair care product, "Pop & Lock". It's why music and entertainment references seem to organically appear in our Instagram and Facebook accounts. Weaving pop culture into our marketing and advertising efforts is natural to us. It's not forced. I think whenever you can incorporate one of your passions into your brand, you will find an audience with whom it will resonate loudly.

I'm now in my 60's, but I'm sadly still addicted to the "scene". On a recent day, I asked our team at the office to dance out the door to Pharrell's song "Happy" so we could shoot a video and put it on Instagram.

But I do draw the line at the Kardashians.