Bearing Gifts - The MOBO Awards
Updated: Sep 29, 2020
The MOBO (Music Of Black Origin) Awards for 2017 were held at the Leeds First Direct Arena on November 29th...
The MOBO (Music Of Black Origin) Awards for 2017 were held at the Leeds First Direct Arena on November 29th. Established in 1996 the show is held annually in the UK to recognise artists of any ethnicity or nationality, performing black music. The MOBOs have a rich history of featuring performances by leading international superstars as well as honouring the work of up-and-coming acts, many of whom who have progressed to become household names. At the 2017 renewal, the event was dominated by Grime artist Stormzy, who claimed a hat-trick of awards including Best Male, Best Album and Best Grime Act. During a stage extravaganza that was broadcast by Channel 5, the audience was treated to live performances, award presentations and video messages including one from avowed Grime fan Jeremy Corbyn, who praised Grime music’s positive impact in motivating young people to use their vote. Whilst Stormzy, Krept & Konan and Stefflon Don were taking the plaudits out front, behind the scenes in the VIP Talent Retreat, Sound Marketing’s Steph Dell and Liz Paradiso were working hard for UK AV distributor POLAR on behalf of headphone manufacturer beyerdynamic.
Gifting Suites are an opportunity for manufacturers to place product directly in front of high- profile end-users at high-profile events. As one of the largest music awards ceremonies in the UK and featuring a line-up that by the very nature of the music it represents, crosses over between performance and production, The MOBOs were fertile ground for beyerdynamic to reinforce the message that it is responsible for producing some of the finest headphones in the world. POLAR has been a long-standing client of Sound Marketing, who play a key role in all things PR and Marketing for the highly successful distributor and when MD John Midgley was exploring a beyerdynamic promotion with the German manufacturer, he brought Sound Marketing’s team leader into the conversation.
Sound Marketing have staged a number of successful events on behalf of POLAR. Earlier in 2017 against the backdrop of The Bond in Motion Exhibition at The London Film Museum and with Steph and Liz at the helm, POLAR’s Integrated Services division invited customers to a series of demonstrations and explanations of cutting edge technology from some of its leading brands. These events do not simply allow products to be placed in front of customers. Relationships are created, developed and reinforced, a principle dear to clients like POLAR and of course, to Sound Marketing itself.
Working the gifting suite at the MOBOs might, with good reason, be seen as something of a glamorous engagement and whilst meeting and chatting with international superstars is not to be sniffed at, Steph is in no doubt that it’s putting in a shift that ultimately wins the day.
“It’s hard work. Pure and simple. That’s in no way to complain - it was a rewarding trip - but you spend hours liaising with all kinds of people in all sorts of roles long before you even set foot in the building, then you’re setting up and figuring out a lot of stuff on the hoof and then you’ve got to be ‘on’ to welcome people, chat about the products, grab photographs and maintain professional decorum throughout! At the MOBOs we were on site the day before for a recce and then on the day itself it was full-on from 9am until showtime. After that we’re standing in a loading bay at midnight, shipping out the unused stock.”
Sound Marketing’s Liz Paradiso joined the company with a strong background in consumer PR and her experience of helping to design and manage such events is, according to Steph, a great advantage.
“Since Liz joined us, she’s added another dimension to things. I’ve got a lot of experience in this field, particularly within the audio and lighting industries but its great to have a perspective from someone who’s worked in different fields and brings different ideas and suggestions. She’s comfortable in the kind of environment we were in at the MOBOs and has a great instinct for what will work best.”
For beyerdynamic and by definition then for POLAR, the evening was a great success. As an exercise in targeted brand reinforcement, the event placed beyerdynamic firmly front and centre before artists, producers, presenters and bloggers - in fact a whole sphere of influencers with a direct relationship to, and interest in, the product. The photographs taken on the night tell their own story...