The General specializes in auto insurance and Epic Records is a staple in the music industry. Put them together and what do you get? A recording studio on wheels.
“The General is actively on a brand evolution journey,” Mary Strength, Director of Brand & Experience at The General, tells American Songwriter. “We are committed to establishing ourselves as one of the most understanding insurance companies. Our customers are also very passionate about music. We wanted to authentically connect with them by giving up-and-coming musicians their big break.”
“For a lot of people, music is discovered while they’re in a car,” John Kirkpatrick, SVP of Brand Marketing & Partnerships at Epic Records, adds. “When I spoke to [The General] and heard that they wanted to create music out of the place where many people discover music, I knew there was an instant hook.”
The General has outfitted an SUV with all the gear it needs to act as a mobile recording studio. The exterior is The General’s classic green and the inside features a vocal booth in the front seat and a soundboard in the back with a 90-degree set-up for an engineer. Check it out, below.
The General plans to take the car on the road, showcasing burgeoning musicianship around the country.
To help kick off this ambitious project, The General brought The Sound Studio and a host of up-and-coming artists to American Songwriter. Each artist got to experience The Sound Studio for themselves, recording a demo track from start to finish. Along with the demo, the artists have been involved in a national social media campaign that documents their experience in the unique recording studio and provides exposure and promotion for their music and personal brands. The artists tapped for the project include Reyna Roberts, Kid Culture, Ethan Gander, AG Club, Lex Bratcher, Bodhi Kitt, The Absolutely, Morgan Keller, Mason Caviness, and Anastasia Elliot.
Epic Records brought some of their own artists to the project, while the others were found through other means – namely, TikTok. Regardless of how they were discovered, Kirkpatrick says, “They are all coming from unique places.”
It’s a diverse roster of musicians, each with their own stories, sonic directions, and songwriting styles. The team at both The General and Epic felt these particular artists deserved to earn their “big break.”
“Music has always connected with audiences through exposure,” Kirkpatrick continues. “There’s a variety of places that you can get exposure from but, one of the hardest things is to increase that scale of exposure. This will be an enormous break for them.”
All of the artists agree. The Sound Studio is unlike anything they’ve experienced before.
The General was inspired to create The Sound Studio while watching up-and-coming artists recording themselves in the car and posting those videos online. While the experience certainly continues that trend, it provides the artist with an extra level of professionalism that a simple phone recording can’t match.
Every piece of the musician’s content is being supported with paid media dollars across Meta and TikTok. This includes a 24-hour Top View ad – the first video to play when a TikTok user opens the app, which is the most premium ad placement TikTok has to offer.
“This has been one of the most exciting things that I’ve done in a minute,” Reyna Roberts tells American Songwriter. “When you get in there it’s like you’re transported into a whole other world. It’s innovative. It’s the first of its kind.”
“I’m excited to get in there and see what everything looks like,” Bodhi says with Gander adding, “I grew up hearing The General commercials – it’s probably my favorite jingle of all time – so I quickly got very excited about it.”
To follow the artists on their Sound Studio journey, visit #TheGeneralSoundStudio on TikTok or Instagram. Following this initial activation, The General will continue to reach new audiences with The Sound Studio in select cities across the country.