Michael Jackson (3) Sunrise Colony (2) Sycamore Valley Ranch (2) William Bone (2) Al Malnik (1) Arnold Klein (1) Bruce Ayers (1) Charles Koppelman (1) Colony Capital (1) Conrad Murray (1) Dieter Wiesner (1) Eliza Jackson (1) Evan Chandler (1) John Branca (1) Jordan Chandler (1) Kingdom Entertainment (1) Los Olivos (1) MJJ Kingdom (1) Mark Schaffel (1) Modern Records (1) Neverland (1) Peter Lopez (1) Pine Grove Hospital (1) Randy Jackson (1) Randy and the Gypsys (1) Raymone Bain (1) Red Rock Country Club (1) Steveanna Jackson (1) Taunya Zilkie (1) Thomas Barrack (1) Tom Barrack (1)
Monday, May 7, 2012
Branding and the Marketing of Dead Celebrities
Friedman has been around long enough to understand that marketing dead celebrities is nothing new. Pepsi has partnered with several dead celebrities, including the Elvis Presley estate, marking the 30th anniversary of his death. Is it reasonable to believe that the consumer would look at that Pepsi can and remember the condition Presley was in at the time of death? Does an image of an obese Elvis, who could not remember his own lyrics due to years of administration of polypharmacy, which ultimately caused his untimely death, come to mind when cracking open a can of Pepsi?
Pepsi obviously banked on the marketability of long-term appeal of both Presley and Jackson. Perhaps Pepsi is hinging their decision on some of Jackson's remarkable achievements during the Bad world tour, including selling out seven shows at Wembley Stadium in London, with over 504,000 people and breaking a world record for attendance. Pepsi may be relying on older fans to remember that the Bad tour was the largest tour in history, entering the Guinness Book of World Records several times or the amount of money Jackson donated to charity during the tour. More than likely though, the target is a new generation of fans, who over time could invest money in both Pepsi and the Jackson's music.
No matter what the demographic target is for Pepsi with Jackson's silhouette on its can, the goal is to pierce the new generation's consciousness with images of stadiums overflowing with screaming fans, women and men alike crying at just the sight of the entertainer on stage. The concept is that as soon as the consumer sees Jackson's image, or hears a Jackson song, that positive images of Jackson come to mind. This approach is called branding, and is not limited to celebrities, but can be used for anything you can think of. For example, when most people think of Disneyworld, they think of the happiest place on earth with wholesome fun and values. Part of that appeal is due to advertising that promoted Super Bowl winners ("We're going to Disneyland!) or to their 10 year tie to McDonalds. The majority of consumers do not associate Disneyworld with deaths that have occurred on their rides, the downfall of CEO Michael Eisner or the French people's condemnation of EuroDisney when it first opened.
The same can be true for a celebrity. To be clear, the celebrity should still be viewed for their contributions to their art, to society in general and to endorsements inked while they were alive. In Jackson's case, the estate executors have remained steadfast regarding what products to endorse. Jackson had a working relationship with Pepsi spanning nearly a quarter of a century. Jeff Jampol, who controls the Janis Joplin estate and consults with the Jackson estate, states "We practice the Hippocratic Oath of rock, which is, 'First, do no harm.' In my eyes, these artists lived and died for their legacies, and their legacies belong to them - not movie directors, not record labels and not book publishers." The estate executors and consultants realize that Jackson's legacy is of the utmost importance. The celebration of BAD's 25th anniversary coupled with a huge advertising campaign seems to suit both Jackson's legacy and the estate's profitability bottom line like a sparkly white glove.
Posted by Michael Jackson: And Justice for Some at 9:43 PM