Converse recently opened its Brooklyn, NY music studio, Rubber Tracks, which offers emerging artists a free professional studio to record their material. This project was born out of the realization that young musicians don’t always have access to quality studios to hone their skill.
How does it work? Rubber Tracks is a democratic enterprise that allows any band to apply on the website for a free recording session. If accepted, the band will spend time with top-notch engineers who will help them through the recording process. Selected musicians will have access to a rehearsal stage, a workroom dedicated to digital editing (music and video) and recording studios.
Rubber Tracks is indeed a qualitative initiative and consistent with the brand’s historic link to music:
Converse has a rich history of supporting music and being embraced by the artistic community. We are committed to providing young artists with the ability to have their voices heard. This year, we’ve dedicated our efforts towards multiple new initiatives that all share the common goal of encouraging creativity. Converse Rubber Tracks enables musicians and bands to really explore and create new music. What they accomplish there sets the bar and tone for everything that follows, said Geoff Cottrill, Chief Marketing Officer of Converse in a release.
So, what can we learn from this “catalyst for originality”? It’s important to consider the value of a brand’s long-term strategy when positioned within an artistic field. It takes time and effort to convince creative individuals that you are on their side, and not just trying to get their money.
On the other hand, I would argue that if Converse can “afford” it, other less famous brands should consider starting with this one shot operations to gain attention.
Today, most musicians would be proud to say they are recording in the Converse studio, but this would not necessarily be the case for another brand.
What’s the secret? Bring together the right people and deliver something that’s useful. At the end of the day, people need to be entertained!
Maybe the best recent example is the U.K. Orange RockCorps, which uses the power of music to inspire people to volunteer and give back to their community. Orange RockCorps produces some of the hottest shows in the industry, but in order to get a ticket you need to earn it by giving four hours to your community.
Are these merely two isolated examples of brands giving back to the community or is brand outreach the next phase of advertising?