Beyonce’s web presence and the artist-fan relationship

According to this Ad Age article, Beyonce does not feel that her brand website represents her diverse interests (in “fashion, travel, photography and art”) and is entertaining proposals from various ad agencies in hopes of change it. While the content feels rather impersonal and the blog format and arial fonts do seem a bit amateurish for an artist of her stature, it is odd that in order to accomplish her aims of personalizing her website, she is employing an external corporate entity.

In any case, this seems to be another example of the shift toward artist-fan intimacy, where she is now using her web presence to develop relationships with fans (by revealing herself as an individual—tastes, likes, dislikes, etc.) rather than the impersonal promotion of products associated with her brand (i.e. taped concert materials).

– Nima Hassan


Branded Spears

In these days of free content, crowdsources and piracy, record companies have seen their profits go down dramatically.  This reduction in sales has made both artists and record companies look for new ways to compensate the smaller numbers in their bank accounts.

Artists are now forced to increase the number of countries they visit when they go on tour, benefiting fans in developing countries who before the Web, had to settle with seeing their favorite stars live only on DVD.

Another visible trend is the increment in product placements in music videos.  Brands appear to be subsidizing the entire industry by carefully locating their products inside the video, on the wrist of the singer,  in the garage of the hero or the feet of the sexy model that will (at some point of the video) show his/her perfectly ripped body.

But how do brands benefit from such exposure:

  1. The artist (if famous enough) can almost guarantee a number of followers who will see the video online, and many of these viewers will also share it with their networks.  It is certain that many of these viewers are not and may not become users of the brands, but the value of global awareness is incalculable.
  2. The video will also be aired on MTV, VH1 and thousands of other channels who also can provide brands with good numbers in terms of awareness.
  3. If, overall, the artist generates good buzz for himself, the brand will also be benefited from this possitive buzz.

Video: Criminal

Artist: Britney Spears

Products: Radiance (Britney’s own fragrance), Swarovski and a car brand I haven’t identified yet.

Video: Telephone

Artist: Lady Gaga

Products: HeartBeats, Virgin Mobile, Diet Coca Cola,, Polaroid.

David Corzo for Vidalogo