The marketing was fierce. For several days, everywhere I turned…there seemed to be a pull towards the “buy” button.*
1st Wave: The Fans
I woke up Friday morning, ready to see my timelines full of people trying to recover from Scandal. Low and behold, many of those who had been slayed by Mama Pope, Papa Pope, and little Olivia Pope had been revived, given life anew by an unexpected but highly anticipated release!
That’s when the legend started: no promotion, no marketing, no nothing – she just reached through the Internet and touched her fans. It sounded like the artist had just put up a blog post somewhere that a fan found and then the news spread by word of mouth. Imagine my surprise when I went to the iTunes store and there was only 1 artist featured on the front page.
Suddenly, the spell was broken. I bet no matter where you were in the world, if you went to the iTunes store the same artist was featured prominently. That kind of looks like promotion to me–a really, really big promotion…
2nd Wave: The Media
The news media was just so late – scrambling to understand what was going on and five steps behind the fans. If you didn’t have iTunes or have a lot of fans in your timeline, they made sure to fill you in.
3rd Wave: The Feminists/Cultural Critiques
The album hadn’t seen a good 48 hours before the blog posts analyzing the product itself and the quality of the artist’s feminism appeared. To my knowledge, I haven’t heard one note of this album–but I know all about Jay-Z’s issues with anime, themes of empowerment vs faux empowerment that upholds the patriarchy, etc.
I thought, “Maybe I should buy the album so I can hear for myself.” How can I judge the quality of the “conversation” or debate if I haven’t experience the music for myself.**
Look at that marketing genius–even the detractors still drive you to the “buy” button.
I realized that I had spent more time in the last few days thinking about the artist than I had in the last year.
Well played, Queen B.
*I prefer buying the 2 or 3 songs that I like instead of downloading whole albums – no need to clutter up my hard drive with songs I’m not going to listen to.
**Then, it hit me. By having conversations and discussion about feminism etc via social media outlets, do we actually feed the capitalist patriarchal machine by drawing eyeballs to the ads and commercials in the sidebar? Or is the intellectual depth of our conversation enough to offset the capitalist, patriarchal footprint–and that ad for the Whirlpool Freestanding Range? <–This is the point when I backed away from the Internet and read a book. One can over-think things.