21st Century Publicity Campaigns by Artists Topped by Katy Perry’s 72 Hour Live Stream.
The lives of artists are often witnessed by the public to a certain extent, whether it is on social media or other online platforms. However, what does it mean when an artist puts themselves in the front line of publicity? Which is exactly what Katy Perry has done over the weekend, on a 72 hour live stream on her YouTube channel. It is a bold message to her fans and sceptics alike.
Katy moved into an apartment fitted with 42 cameras on Thursday and since then has been seen delving into personal stories about ex-boyfriends, mental health as well as ‘accidently’ flashing whilst receiving beauty treatments. This was a chance for her fans to ‘view all aspects of her life’. With celebrity appearances from the likes of Sia, James Corden and Caitlyn Jenner, the way she is representing her life, be it reality or staged, is not shy to say the least.
On one hand this could be seen as genuine promotion for her new album Witness that dropped on Friday. However, it also evokes that artists are trying to be as bold as they can and often controversial to gain momentum in the ever competitive music industry. The likes of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball controversy and image overhaul, and Beyoncé’s Lemonade album launch that was available exclusively on her husband Jay Z’s streaming service, whilst rumours that the lyrics signalled that he may have cheated on her, spring to mind.
Artists are being more innovative than ever when it comes to promotion and marketing of new music. However, this access all areas publicity campaign by Katy Perry creates the question of why worldwide musicians feel the need to be so publicly scrutinised and analysed as part of a marketing campaign. The saying “There is no such thing as bad publicity” may be an ethos these celebrities are adhering to, and the bolder, the better.
Perry addressed issues of being accused of cultural appropriation, (after dressing as a geisha in her performance at the 2013 American Music Awards and wearing Braids in her music video for ‘’This is how we do’’) when she was interviewed on the live stream by Black Lives Matter activist Deray McKesson , admitting she was wrong and apologising for her past mistakes. Reflecting that morality can be seen to sell and the humanity of this, as well as her crying on live stream during an emotional therapy session talking of suicidal thoughts are cumulatively going to increase the success of her latest album.
Perry wanted her fans to get a feel for her everyday life, however the events of this 72 hour stream have been far from normal. In addition to her publicity campaigns, her image has changed consistently over the past year. Her new image and short hair is reminiscent to the sudden change in teen-pop sensation Miley Cyrus and the drastic Pop-star reinvention is a bold move for 21st century musicians. Katy Perry, her image, social media and now live stream are all aligning to a re-invention and buzz around the singer whose recent album is the first in four years, which speaks for itself. This Big-Brother style campaign could be said to be the epitome of modern day marketing for musicians, and can only make you question what they will do next.
Katy Perry’s new album Witness was released on Friday and is available to stream on all major platforms.