Xscape: The King of Pop is Back!!!

The King of Pop is back! Sort of…

michael-jackson-xscape-e1398967574498

After doing a fine job of keeping the news under wraps, more information was released today about the second posthumous album of legendary artist Michael Jackson.

Page Six, commonly known as the celebrity gossip section of the New York Post, announced today that there would be several high profile artists featuring on this upcoming project.

Justin Timberlake. Mary J. Blidge. D’Angelo. ?uestlove.

These are just for highlights of what is slated to be one of the most exciting albums of 2014. In addition, production work from Stargate, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, and John McClain has been included.

“Love Never Felt So Good” the lead single from the album, will make its television debut during the iHeartRadio Music Awards, airing live tonight on NBC at 8 p.m.

Stay tuned on this exciting project, scheduled to be released on May 13th.

 

 

 

Music as a Muse: “This Is It”

THISISIT

Directed by Kenny Ortega, “This Is It” documents the preparation and rehearsal that was invested in the King of Pop’s swan song.  Michael Jackson was scheduled to perform 10 (which, due to overwhelming demand, was increased to 50) sold out shows in London as a farewell to performing before going into retirement.  Some speculate that the concert was Michael Jackson’s means of putting a dent in his sizeable debts, though he announced that the purpose of the concert was to give his children an opportunity to see him perform since they were born after the height of his popularity.  (Dailymail.co.uk). It was planned to begin on July 13, 2009, however the dream was tragically smashed by the untimely and tragic death of Michael Jackson less than a month before the debut.


The Way You Make Me Feel

 The film incited controversy across the board between Jackson’s ample fan base and his relationships.  From the front of his audience, the producers were pressured so much that they even released the documentary early to satisfy public demand.  Conversely, the film was criticized as an attempt to turn a profit on Michael Jackson’s misfortune.  His family pressured the filmmakers to cancel its production, albeit unsuccessfully.  Sony paid $50,000,000 for the rights to produce the documentary.  AEG President Tim Leiweke publically retorted:

“Some of the things that people have said about us, which are so untrue, this movie’s going to restore his legacy, and prove that we, in fact, gave Michael a second chance here. And an opportunity to make the kind of comeback he was dreaming of. And that we created an environment for him that was probably the best environment that the guy had the last 10 or 15 years of his life. And I’m very proud of the way we treated Michael, and very proud of the partnership that we had with him. And this movie is an opportunity to celebrate that, and we could get past all of the gossip and all of the innuendo.” (Theguardian.com)

President Tim Leiweke

In spite of the criticism, it proved to be an enormous commercial and critical success, breaking world records before the film was even released:

  • The soundtrack entered the market at number one in the United States.
  • 700,000 tickets were sold in the first four hours
  • The movie set a Guiness World Record (later broken) for the largest promotional poster in the world (Worldrecordacademy.com)
  • At $250,000,000, This Is It is the highest grossing concert film and documentary film of all time.
  • It set a record for breaking $100 million in ticket sales worldwide in its firt five days.(Usatoday.com)
  • After his death, Michael Jackson became to make 2 million posthumous sales in a week. (Nytimes.com)

MUSIC AND BRANDING – WHERE THERE’S PEPSI, THERE’S MUSIC! ™

PEPSI knows it! Since first partnership with Michael Jackson, back in 1983, PepsiCo, Inc. has launched several campaigns using music as a storyline or music artist who have helped the company building its brand’s identity and personality.

Here’s an example of pioneer commercial campaign (1980s)

 

A brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company (name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or combination of them) and how it relates to key stakeholders: customers, staff, partners, investors… Others may say a brand is more than that: confidence, passion, belonging, action, security or a set of unique values.

We tend to think of branding as a modern day phenomenon; undoubtedly branding has evolved over the late 1990s and early 2000s, but certain studies argue that branding started even before (around 1800s) when companies that sold patented medicines and tobacco realized the importance of their product’s association with a brand.

History provides some insight and perspective on modern day branding, and curiously have dated the branding phenomenon and first evidence of advertising even to ancient Babylonian civilization back in 3,000 BC!

Coming back to PEPSI’s strategy, a recent deal with the late King of Pop’s estate will allow the brand to use the music legend’s image for a new global marketing campaing. In order to amplify the company’s strong ties with popular culture and win market share from its main competitor (Coca-Cola Co), Pepsi will release a series of new TV ads, will launch an special-edition can with the artist’s image and will give the chance of downloading remixes of Michael’s most famous songs by scanning codes that will be placed on the new cans. Going a bit further, the company is also considering other ways of attracting the customer and will give away tickets to Cirque du Soleil shows along with special leather jackets inspired by the artist genuine style as a reward.

Music is everywhere and Pepsi has created another campaign called Live for Now pushing another strategic partnership with Nicki Minaj

During 2012 spring, Pepsi also joined The X Factor and embarked on The Pepsi Flavor Audition Tour, giving contestants and fans at more than 20 locations in 15 cities, the exclusive opportunity to sample four new Pepsi flavors and be the judge of which one earned the right to be called Pepsi X.

Eric Whitehouse, director of marketing for Pepsi has mentioned:

Our partnership with ‘The X Factor’ has given us the opportunity to further engage with our passionate consumers, and continue the Pepsi legacy of supporting aspiring musical talent With Pepsi X, we put fans in the judge’s seat — giving them the power to select our next limited-edition flavor — the Pepsi with ‘The X Factor.'”

Allowing consumers to be part of the product experience is also crucial, and with such Flavor Auditions Pepsi is getting even closer to the society.

Monica Manubens