Clint Boon, Kate Lawler, Manchester music, PR and media


Clint Boon and Kate LawlerThe MPA hosted an excellent event this week, looking at the relationship between music, media and human behaviour.

A series of talks looked at how we are influenced by the things we hear as much as the things we see, with examples of how brands and society have taken advantage of this fact.

We went from aborigines passing on navigation tips from generation to generation via the power of song to British Airways using music in its ads to recreate the sense of comfort, luxury and relaxation a passenger might experience on a BA flight.

There was an interesting presentation on how brands use pop videos and PR to communicate with potential customers, whether by product placement or by using products to actually create the video in the first place, such as when Nokia phones became an integral part in the production of an Ellie Goulding promo film. Another case study of how First Choice got involved with a Saturdays video became more interesting when I found out one of my Havas PR Manchester team mates actually worked on the project, back in the day.

The highlight of the event was an up close interview with Clint Boon, with Kate Lawler posing the questions.

Clint was entertaining as always and enthralled the audience of media folk with tales of how he came to fall in love with music and how he made a career out of it.

His recollection of how you used to buy new music in the 1970s and 1980s really struck a chord with me.

He remembered being introduced to Dark Side of the Moon in the mid-70s. His mate asked if he had heard this great new LP by Pink Floyd. He hadn’t and so got the bus to his mate’s house to listen to it.

He thought it was great and on the bus journey home, he resolved to buy it for himself.

So, the following Saturday, he got a bus to the record shop in town, where – because it was new music and therefore not in stock – he had to place an order for his copy. He then got the bus home again.

A week or so later, he received a letter from the record shop, saying that the record he had ordered had arrived in stock and that he could collect it. Impatiently, he waited until the weekend when he was next able to get the bus again to Oldham town centre where he visited the record shop and finally got his hands on this great LP.

He then got the bus back home before, finally, six bus journeys, countless miles and three weeks later, he got to play the Dark Side of the Moon in his own home.

Fast forward to 2014. You like a song? Listen to it NOW on Spotify, which will then IMMEDIATELY suggest another song you might like, based on your tastes, which you can listen to RIGHT AWAY. You can even buy it if you want, but not so many people would do that these days.

No waiting. No ordering. No letters. No buses. That’s how music has changed in my lifetime.

Even Pink Floyd caught up in the end.


Hat tip: Carl Sukonic (aka @thevainphotos) who took the pic of Clint and Kate.