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Monthly Archives: May 2011

[UPDATE] Why Lady Gaga and Amazon Just ‘Get It’ Better Than You Do

Lady Gaga is known for her outrageous and eccentric attire on stage and in the public image (and just a tad bit of musical talent as well). Amazon is known for being one of the largest online stores, quality customer service, and great deals. When you put them together what do you get? A stroke of genius that proves just how much more they understand the way consumers work these days.

Mashable posted this morning that Lady Gaga is selling her new album for only 99 cents via Amazon. Amazon is also sweetening the deal by forking over 20 gigs of Cloud Drive storage per purchase. This is a major move by both the artist and vendor; rarely has an album been priced for so little, let alone the release of a brand new album from arguably the hottest artist right now (her single “Born This Way” was the fastest selling single in iTunes history). So why are Gage and Amazon charging less than a dollar for an album that millions would purchase for $10-15 dollars without hesitation? Well…

1) Simply because she can. Money isn’t an issue for Lady Gaga OR Amazon…not one album’s worth at least.

2) She understands that consumers in the present day need incentive to buy into something…but if they love, and are loyal to the person/product, they will promote it effortlessly and persuade their peers to buy into it as well. Selling an album for a dollar seems a lot less serious when you consider that Gaga has ~45 million combined fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter that are sure to pay up a dollar for her new album…and then post tweets, statuses, personal messages, and many other types of free Gaga advertising all on their own. Not a bad way to get the word out huh?

3) Amazon’s Cloud Drive is a direct competitor of Google’s and harnessing the power of 45 million Gaga fans, plus Amazon’s fans and massive email list, allows it to immediately compete and perhaps succeed against a giant like Google.

4) Gaga’s reputation as a unique, barrier-pushing artist (check out her recent SNL performance where she sported a pregnancy “bump” whilst performing “Born This Way”) is only bolstered by a bold move like this. It continues her trend as the artist doing things unlike any before her, and also sends a nice message to her fans showing that she cares about them beyond their money.

The end result of this campaign, assuming it reaches the same level of success as Gaga’s music career or Amazon’s online success, will more than make up for any losses taken from selling the album for such a low price.

This is a great strategy. It will get tons of press (I have already seen people I know sending emails and posting on Facebook about it) and allows both parties involved to gain new fans and customers. Possibly (however unlikely) it could also pave the way for a new business strategy that could help save the music industry from its ongoing troubles with pirating, torrents, and such. Now how cool would that be?

What do you think? Is Lady Gaga doing something smart, or is it another attention grabbing headline that will pass without a big deal being made of it?

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[Update]

The Amazon servers got hit so hard from the Gaga faithful that the album downloads are now delayed. As a result people are ripping the digital music service by giving the album one star ratings. I am personally having trouble figuring out if this is a measure of extreme success, or extreme failure. Obviously Lady Gaga has nothing to do with this, except making her fans way too insane so that they cause an event like this to occur. Amazon definitely has to except the blame for this…seeing as how Gaga’s following has helped her become the world’s most powerful celebrity according to Forbes.

While something like this occurring would negatively impact a campaign or business move under normal circumstances…I believe that this will be the exception. Nobody is going to not buy the album for a dollar because it will take them a little while longer to get it, and┬áthe fanbase is so gaga for Gaga that this will just create more press and draw attention to it. Lady Gaga will escape from this unharmed, if not even more formidable. Amazon may have some explaining to do, and will most likely take a PR hit, however.

Props to Gaga though for helping to crash the Amazon servers that are able to handle things like Black Friday rushes and other massive deals. It just shows you how amazing the artist really is.

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Would You Kill Your Virtual Self?

Being a Community Manager, I am surrounded by social media every day (well, way more surrounded than the average person), so my profiles are a necessary, and important part of what I do (and therefore who I am). So the idea of Facebook Russian Roulette is a terrifying one for me, and probably for most people.

The concept, conceived by the Miami Ad School Europe in Berlin, is simple: You log into the game using your Facebook credentials and play a virtual game of Russian roulette against three competitors. Three lucky ‘survivors’ are entered into a contest for a chance to win a week-long stay in Russia…The loser, however, gets their Facebook account deleted forever.

In Soviet Russia, Facebook deletes you!

Why do I love the idea of this campaign? Because it does a few of things that most campaigns never do:

1) It makes you truly think about how valuable the online version of who you are really is to you.

2) Any campaign that has philosophical undertones addressing the lines between the real world and virtual world…while also promoting a premium vodka, is surely a winner.

3) It calls into question (albeit subtly, between the lines) just how obsessive we have become with Facebook and online profiles in general.

While this may just be a concept, I wholeheartedly support it and think it should come to fruition. It’s a clever campaign that fits one of the themes of the product (Russian) while putting something real (virtual) at stake. And who hasn’t ┬átried to imagine what a game of Russian roulette would be like? Now here’s a chance to risk a part of who you are without risking anything really serious. See below for a video explaining the campaign in full…terribly dubbed, deep Russian accent included:

What do you think of this campaign? Would you consider playing or is your Facebook self too much a part of your life to give it up? Post thoughts in the comments below.

Viral Video + New Sports + Beer = Success

So I really have to write up a couple posts about my trip to China and all I learned about social, but I keep coming across amazing things like this:

Budweiser has officially created the first version of a game that I am sure has been dreamed of in the past by many (myself included), yet has never come to fruition: Poolball. It’s the perfect combination of beer, billiards, babes, and…balls.

Not only do I believe this game would be immensely fun to play, but it would be a lot of fun to watch inebriated opponents try to play this game. What do you think, should this game be expanded? Is Budweiser on to something here?