Gaga ordered her FAME online

Lady Gaga made a nice marketing step to show all her non american fans it is sooo easy to order her new fragrance FAME from America. She ordered it to Estonia and took a picture with her new arrival.

Lady Gaga ordered her FAME from America

And what about fame of her FAME in America? Yes, in the United States this first ever black eau de parfum became the number 1 fragrance.

Check out the youtube channel of Haus Laboratories for FAME commercials (it’s not everything yet - the worldwide campaign film will be released on September 13th at the Guggenheim museum). I like this french one - Formulation. And you?


Target like Lady Gaga

The day when I go to the Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball is fast approaching. I’m looking forward not only to the show but also to Gaga’s audience.

Last year, when I was struggling through a crowd at her concert, I noticed that she has an extremely diverse fans. There were young girls with parents, teenagers, grandfathers, couples of every age, families, gays, groups of friends. Some of them looked pretty strange, some very stylish, and some totally normal. Gaga has made a few very clever steps to get so many target groups. She wants to be the world’s most famous star and she can’t do it with only one target group. If you have big plans for your brand, you should look not only at groups that are likely to buy your products, but also at groups that you haven’t previously considered. But, be aware, when you do target them, you have to talk to them in ways they understand.

Gaga has reached many target groups in many different ways. Here are two examples of how she has approached her targets:

  • Homosexuals - homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals make up a large part of Gaga’s fans. They fell in love with her and it didn’t happen only by chance. As Maureen Callahan writes, in the beginnings of Lady Gaga, Interscope hired a PR agency that specialized in homosexual target groups. With their help, Gaga was able to perform in the best gay clubs, at best gay parties and she started to support them. Getting this community, she earned a dedicated core of economically strong consumers, passionate fans that love to buy. And moreover she earned the status of an outsider artist, which works well for teenage outsiders.

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  • Fashionistas - There are many people who love and admire fashion and then there is Lady Gaga who is well known for her unique fashion creations. She loves to talk about what she is wearing and all fashionistas love to hear it. Few years ago she started to work with famous stylist Nicola Formichetti, who helped her to break into the fashion industry. A survey from my final thesis says that more people can describe her fashion creations than they can say names of her songs. Fashionistas make up a very large group and are also a very love-to-buy audience. In return Lady Gaga loves them and she speaks to them very often. On her shows, in her music videos, in TV shows, … and throughout her column in V magazine. (Yes, besides everything she does, she is an occasional columnist.)

When you search for your next target set of groups, talk to someone who belongs to them or who works with them. Hire PR agency specialized on a gay audience, or get an opinion leader on your side. Because, your desired target groups will let you in only if you know how to speak to them.


Gaga for free

In this day and age, with all the SOPA and ACTA hoopla, the use of free samples is really noteworthy. Convincing people to buy is a great issue for any artist whose work can be stolen on the Internet. One way Lady Gaga sells her music is by giving it away for free. And obviously it’s working.

Before Little Monsters start to pay for their Mother Monster, they can receive something for free. Gaga puts all her videos on the Internet, encourages her fans to take pictures and film her during her shows. And when they share it on YouTube, where everyone can see how the whole show looks, well, it’s just great for her popularity. Even if your work can’t be downloaded, offering free samples can be very good PR for you.

Gaga knows, having a good relationship with her fans is great for business. When she released Born this way in May 2011, on iTunes it became the fastest selling song of all time. Even though it’s been viewed millions of times for free.

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Another great (and funny) example of this free-content strategy is the Monty Python YouTube channel. They launched it three years ago with the witty video in which they pretend to be really disappointed by the fact that on YouTube nobody has to pay. After that, sales of their DVDs increased by 23 000 percent!!!

Let’s watch it for free and have fun (and than maybe you will buy it).


Cult of Lady Gaga - Customer Relationship

Clearly Lady Gaga knows how to build a strong and loyal following. She made a cult of herself, Gaga’s fans believe in her. She teaches us that every brand has the power to become a cult! (Yes, it sounds less creepy when called a Lovemark).

Look at these gagapoints that can help your brand to elevate to a cult status:

  • MOTHER MONSTER / Give them something to put on a pedestal

Lady Gaga actually stood up on a pedestal. She named herself Mother Monster, she tells her fans that they are her Little Monsters. She is their “mom”, she loves them and they must love her. If there is something or someone behind your brand that your customers can “follow”, show it to them. The Harley isn’t just a motorbike, it’s a lifestyle, it’s a celebration of freedom, it’s a religion for so-called HOGs. For them there is no other motorbike. In the HOG they trust.

  • LITTLE MONSTERS / Name them - so they know they belong somewhere

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs on the third level is a point that is very important for us - needs of belongingness. People want to belong somewhere, be a part of something “bigger”. Tell them there is something more than just a product in your brand, some philosophy they can be a part of. Best example of this is a former Pepsi campaign - generation next. Teenagers felt they were a part of this generation and wanted to show it with a bottle of Pepsi in their hands.

  • MONSTER CLAW / Connect them - together, they will be stronger!

All Little Monsters know how to show they are gagafriendly. With Monster Claws. Fans greet their “mother” and other fans by making a claw shape with their hands. Gaga is lucky, she has fans that are social and she encourages them to connect. She tweets messages like “Unite!” and “Paws up!” So give your customers some symbol so they can show that they are your-brand-positive. If you have a strong relationship with your Mac, probably you like to show off your apples, right? You don’t understand how there could be so many PC people out there. You like it when apple lights up on your computer and maybe you have some apple sticker? Together, apples are stronger!

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  • KLEINE MONSTERS / Talk to them - talk to them!

Lady Gaga identifies the diversities in her fans and communicates to them in different ways. In London, she speaks proper English, in USA she uses a more teenage tongue, when she is on a German TV show, she talks about Germans who have influenced her, for a shows in Vienna, she calls her fans “Kleine Monsters” and in Japan, she is soo Japanese… As Eric Garland, CEO of BigChampagne.com said, she knows how to generate the feeling of mass intimacy. Some singers have the ability to generate intimacy during their shows. Like when you feel Madonna is singing just for you even if you sit in the cheapest seat. But Gaga can generate the feeling of mass intimacy on the Internet as well. This is very rare. She talks like a close friend even if she is speaking to 18 million Twitter followers. Maybe it’s hard for your brand to become a close friend. But it’s easy for customers to become attached to you. Just talk to them. Identify your customers and talk to them in their own tongue.

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  • MANIFESTO / Admire them - and they will stay with you

Gaga talks to her fans with love and devotion so it is harder for them to leave her. Look at her Manifesto of Little Monsters which she plays at her tours and listen… “When you are lonely, I’ll be lonely too.” If it’s not your unique style to be ugly, all customers want to feel, you stand for them, you feel honored that they buy your products. If they don’t feel loved they will leave you. For example one of the reasons I’m learning to drive a car is because i don’t feel wanted in taxi cabs.

The way Lady Gaga reacts with her fans is reminiscent of some kind of religious movement. Her “followers” are truly advocates. They are loving, supporting and BUYING. And so could be yours.


There is something about Gaga’s videos

Lady Gaga is a marketing talent, mainly an Internet marketing talent. I like the fact, that in this Internet world, she pays so much attention to music videos which are traditional musician marketing tool and the fact, that she made new digital marketing tool out of it.

In the past, MTV sold a lot of musicians. People saw a music video, then they saw it again and again and then they started to love it and buy it. But now, there is a lot of reality shows on MTV and the chance of seeing music video is pretty small. If there is somebody curious about Lady Gaga’s new song, he or she will not wait in front of MTV to catch it. There is YouTube where everybody can find it whenever they want and watch it as many times as they wish. The house of Lady Gaga understands the benefits of YouTube and made videos especially for the Internet. Her videos are so long no music channel will play them in its full length, but it doesn’t matter on YouTube, where you can watch them whenever you have time. She doesn’t do classic videos but Internet mini series instead. Madonna and Michael Jackson were MTV stars, Lady Gaga is a YouTube star.

Every time Lady Gaga is going to realise a new song, she makes a big buzz about it. It doesn’t matter what you think of the songs, it’s obvious that her videos are entertaining, made on high professional level and they look pretty expensive. In the 9 minute video Telephone which featured Beyoncé, there were many references to pop culture. For example movies, comics, other singers, fashion creations and a lot of product placement. This started a vast discussion on how many products and links people could find in the video and views of the song were rising.

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When preparing her latest song “Marry the Night”, Lady Gaga performed it wherever she could and she was talking about it constantly. And also she released the Prelude pathétique, an intro to the song, two weeks before she released the song. In doing this she was able to generate a huge amount of hype. Not only her fans, music critics, bloggers and competitors eagerly awaiting it, but thanks to her great fashion director Nicola Formichetti, there was a huge amount of fashion lovers, who wanted to see what she would wear. After all, in the prelude, she talked about next season Calvin Klein, shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti, a french look and a great ass. She released the 14 minute long music video full of links to pop culture on December 2. Now, eight days after, it has over 15 million views.

My point is, you don’t need to quit traditional techniques when you want to do something new. You just need to find out, how you can change it, to make it much more modern and attractive. It is not easy but many brands do it very well. For example the fashion brand Burberry. Their runway show in Beijing was really untraditional (and very shareable) with a special holographic catwalk.

If you don’t want to spend time watching the Marry the Night, you should just go through the fashion credits. Many people who are interested in fashion did just that. And many of them watched this 14 minute long Lady Gaga commercial.

I watched it, I loved the product placement, I loved the cross-marketing and of course the Giuseppe Zanotti shoes.

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Brand Gaga

Record Labels don’t hide the fact that in this Internet world, it is no longer possible to make today’s musicians famous and wanted with the same old principles. This is why Lady Gaga crossed the boundaries of traditional communication and she tried something else - a sophisticated marketing strategy like today’s top brands.

She made up her strategy based on a thing that should be number one priority for each company - she did a thorough SWOT analysis, which determined her Strengths (great voice and body),  Weaknesses (no pretty face), Opportunities (social networks, boredom in the music industry) and Threats (fans could get bored, they will no longer like what she does). Based on her analysis, she developed a strong strategy and she steadfastly stuck to it.

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Originally she wanted to sit behind the piano and sing piano ballads. Then she decided to step out from behind it, so fans could watch her body, not her face. She utilized the power of the Internet and social networks and built a vast network of fans. In May of 2011 she became the first to reach over 10 million followers on Twitter and in October she hit 15 million. On Facebook she has over 45 million likes, second only to one person - Eminem has an astonishing 49 million fans. She returned to the days when music was fun and the MTV ceremony was a magnificent event. She decided to use extremely extravagant costumes, to entertain people with great performances on the stage and to continue entertaining them even when sitting in the audience. And moreover - she is funny! She is doing everything she can to keep her fans from getting bored. That is why she is highly unpredictable. Gaga changes costumes, wigs and constantly invents new ways to shock and entertain.

Being thoroughly familiar with your brand is an absolute necessity without which you can’t build a good marketing. But just knowing the brand isn’t everything. You should be very creative in thinking about what the findings mean for you and your brand and what can be done with your analysis. You shouldn’t be limited by what has already been used and you should consider any marketing tool which could work for you. 

To Lady Gaga, it doesn’t matter which category she belongs to, if she uses tools of celebrity marketing or brand marketing. When building a strategy, she cares only about what she wants to achieve. And, she knows very well what her purpose is and she doesn’t hide it. She consistently pursues her strategy and several times she was hospitalized for total exhaustion, for one reason only - she wants Lady Gaga, her unique brand, to become the world’s most popular artist.


Nocategory is new category … in this town of Gagaween

Last year I decided to go to a Halloween party dressed as Lady Gaga in her most famous meat dress. At that time I was starting to focus on her marketing – the topic I chose for my final thesis to finish my master’s degree (at the Department of Marketing Communication, Comenius University in Bratislava). My choice to dress as Lady Gaga for this years department Halloween party was informed by Lady Gaga. The department chose her as a theme.

I learned one very important thing when writing my thesis
with regards to Marketing of Lady Gaga - categories mean nothing. Gaga realized that she didn’t need to do the same thing as many other singers, fashion brands or TV stations. Instead of repeating the same old patterns, she analyzed her brand deeply and she just began doing anything that supported the brand. And we see the same principle through the communication business. After all Lady Gaga is the creative director of Polaroid. If Idea is powerful enough it can appear in many different categories. This is most visible at advertising festivals. The work of online, offline and PR people overlaps, because in the end everything is essentially communication.

The blog I’m starting is inspired by Gaga’s approach and influenced by
the marketing of fashion brands - I’ll be writing specifically about communication that crosses boundaries and denies categories.

And what is Lady Gaga, the master of building relationships with her fans, doing now? Among the other things, she is laughing when her talented fans parody her.

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So, let’s watch this great Halloween video made by the sister duo The Hilliwood Show and welcome to Gagaween - a place where you can learn a lot about communication…