Been a while since I did brand of the week. And after the halftime show at the NFL Superbowl, this weeks brand of the week goes to the very spritely at 53, Madonna.
The press (miming aside), have been almost universal in their praise. Upshot? Queen of Pop comes back to reclaim crown. Gaga who?
Much whipping of excitement, just before an album launch. My, how convenient. But of course it is. Madonna has always been a master manipulator. Even more Machiavellian than the Dark Lord Cowell himself.
So what was so genius about the performance?
If you ask me, not much. The sheer spectacle and staging were impressive. But her marketing masterstroke? A youthful shot in the arm for her tired, fading brand / star (delete as applicable), courtesy of the young guns.
LMFAO. Nicki Minaj. MIA. Cee Lo Green. And the bouncy internet superstar gymnast. Quite the supporting cast list.
By appearing on stage and paying their dues to pop’s Queen, they send word to their legion of fans. This old-lady star is worthy. They extend to her their own credibility. Their cool. The sneaky and subversive message to their younger fan base.
Look at me performing with Madonna. This is a woman I love. And you should too.
It’s one of the commodities she craves the most. That and an Oscar for film. But let’s be honest. That’s never going to happen. So, for my money, here are marks out of ten for the performance.
- Likelihood the album will go straight in to number 1 in many countries: 10/10
- Jay Leno ad: 7/10, for being relatively amusing
- The guest stars: 9.5/10, very well cast. All played their supporting roles exceptionally well (short of getting on their knees and chanting ‘we’re not worthy).
- The miming: 2/10, because after all the practise, she should be a hell of a lot better at it than that
- The dancing: 5/10, as she’s starting to look like she needs cod liver injections into all moving joints that haven’t been filled.
- The surgery: 4.5/10, because it’s starting to get more than a little creepy
- Likelihood Gaga will do something massively outrageous to try and reclaim headlines: A very tiresome 10/10
- The macrobioticness: 0/10. S’just too try hard…
Iain G. Morrison remembers the scene from In bed with Madonna where they all joked about Madonna still writhing about to Like a Virgin at 50. Oh how they all laughed….
What’s wrong with middle America!?
The Janet Jackson superbowl nipplegate affair has yet again reared it’s (bejeweled) head.
We’ve got counter-suits flying left right and centre. Really rather absurd. Especially as the broadcaster (CBS / MTV) was fined an eye-watering $500,000…
Anyway, here’s a little 80’s gem. A rather special Italian popstrel that captured the hearts of teenage boys everywhere.
And really knew how to work a bikini…
Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And has a not so secret love for bad 80’s pop…
So, the agency behind some of Budweisers’ most famous work (featuring the croaking frogs) has been axed.
Annheuser-Busch InBev(the parent company) has reviewed its roster of agencies (including DDB Chicago), specifically focusing on how they are paid.
Surprise surprise, they’re now favouring project fees, as opposed to ‘expensive’ retainers. The key sting in the tail however; it will now pay a set fee for specific projects (regardless of whether they take longer than previously agreed)…
There are clear arguments for an against retainers. An good agency on retainer is worth its weight in gold.
The agency can then enter into a real strategic partnership with the brand ,which really allows it to own the schedule of work. In theory, the agency grows with the brand (the brands successes being their successes), its stewards steering the brand through good times and bad. If they are lucky, the agency can become an extension of the brands own marketing department.
An agency on a project by project basis throws resource at your brand in concentrated bursts, and never really gets under the skin of what’s required (massive oversimplification, I’ll do a proper essay type blog on this one sometime soon!). And if the project fee is fixed, they have a difficult choice; burn whatever hours are required to get the job done (and hopefully win more business), or do the bear minimum to get the work out the door…
What this does reflect however, is the need for agencies and brands to sit down, and comprehensively review how agencies are remunerated for their efforts.
The current agency payment model is outdated, rarely fit for purpose, and I predict we’ll see nothing but more high profile agency losses month after month as the recession bites, and procurement departments do what procurement departments do…
Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And whilst I’m not a big fan of the Louie the Lizard campaign, you can’t deny it did the job it needed to for the brand…