Red Bull and Mountain Dew have for some time aligned themselves with up-and-coming musicians to reach out to their mutual audiences--with considerable success. And they're not the only brands putting marketing muscle behind bands. Sneaker marketer Converse has a very active music presence, for instance; the New York Times recently covered the subject with this photo of the brand's new recording studio:
fanfare in 2008, lasted only a year. Starbucks has its own label and sells music online as well as through its coffeehouses nationwide.
Music has long been part of the marketing package for many brands, but whether moving into the recording end of the business makes sense is still an open question. The answer probably has more to do with the product and the target market than the music and musicians themselves. Pop culture is not a controllable marketing element; corporations have to allow bands considerable freedom and think long-term for the connection to benefit the brand.