Archive for February, 2009

February 28, 2009

U2 = PR

With the recent surge in publicity over the last couple of weeks, U2 are without doubt the most successfully marketed band of our intensely media driven society. Yesterday was the nadir of U2 publicity with the band featuring on three different radio shows – Radio 1 with Jo Whiley, Radio 5 with Simon Mayo and Radio 2 with Chris Evans. Not only that, they also played live twice during the day – BBC Radio Broadcasting House Theatre followed by a Friday night rush hour gig on the roof – which was broadcast live on digital, radio and the Internet – not a bad days work for the masters of publicity.
It seems we can’t escape U2 at the moment – what with an appearance on Jonathon Ross, a whole culture show dedicated to them, a very large feature in Q magazine and Observer Music monthly, along with an interview with Adam Clayton in Mojo.

Of course U2 have always embraced the media, learning how to play the game earlier in their career –  the whole Zooropatour was a culturalcelebration of the multimedia age.  Though without so much mainstream coverage would they be celebrated as the most influential band of the last 25 years? No one can deny their talent, but has it been greatly exaggerated by their media savvy, which has led to the wide exposure.  Their musicalinfluence has manifested among the younger bands, but so has their media relations ideology – they have become the perfect blueprint for any band seeking to maximise publicity potential – see The Killers, Coldplay, Razorlight et al.

Is their greatness mythologised by their desire to remain relevant in a media saturated landscape?

I thought I’d add to the media stampede by featuring my own small bit of U2 publicity – just to help them along a little bit more!  It seems the BBC weren’t so generous.

February 18, 2009

Pop goes the brand

It was bad enough seeing Johnny Rotten on butter commercials – though he’s always been honest about his lack of artistic integrity – Duffy peddling Diet coke so early in her career and Groove Armada using their songs to promote Bacardi – but to see Iggy Pop appear on the side of double decker buses advertising car insurance is too much to bear…….Whatever next, Morrissey advertising Durex!!! – although after his appearance on BBC’s The One Show, I now feel anything is possible with him too.. But how could the godfather of Punk reduce his legendary and riotous rock n’ roll lifestyle to a pitiful insurance ad, surely he doesn’t need the money……..The scary thing is this is only the tip of the iceberg, with artists albums sales plummeting mg mt companies, record labels, agents et al are all looking at extra avenues to make up the shortfalls, expect to see a whole slew of artists advertising banal products over the next few years.

February 12, 2009

Live Nation to merge with Ticketmaster

Pending a monopoly commission inquiry it looks as though Live Nation’s merger with Ticketmaster will lead to the largest controlling conglomerate of the  live music industry. Where will that leave us humble music folk? Instead of artists gaining more freedom since the so-called demise of the record industry, it looks is if the industry is now being hijacked by multinational entertainment companies with the express purpose of extracting more dollars from us by forming a music cartel where we buy absolutely everything from the same business. It could lead to fans being forced to sign up to subscription packages for each artist.
Madonna – $5 dollars a month
Rolling Stones – $10 dollars a month and so on……….without this subscription we could be isolated from seeing the artist live. Bands already have membership fees to their websites, with more corporate merges this could become ubiquitous across the industry.