Lady Gaga and Being Different (or Interesting)

Hola Todos!

Here’s a different kind of Nuggetville post – partially inspired by an article I was reading in Rolling Stone on Lady Gaga.  Now, I would not describe myself as a Lady Gaga fan.  I do hear her songs on the radio and there is not doubt she is talented.  If she’s on an awards show, it’s worth tuning in just because she will do something interesting.  But that said, the current edition of Lady Gaga – two albums and a number of chart toppers – is unsustainable.  No one – not an artist – not a firm – not a brand can continually do the same thing year in and year out before the fanbase gets board.  It’s not novel.  It’s not interesting.  How many times are you going to see the same romantic comedy and before you even eat your first handful of popcorn, you already know the guy and the girl are going to get together at the end of this Hollywood movie.  The public got bored of Elvis, Michael Jackson, even the Beatles at certain points of their careers.

Here’s my nugget for the day – if you want to be interesting, do the COMPLETE opposite of what is expected.  Yes this is quite risky but how else can you reinvent yourself or your brand unless you do something unexpected?

Here’s my crazy thought for Lady Gaga: for her next album, dump the disco and the dance hall tunes and go hard cord, old school 70’s rock and roll.  She is already setting the foundation for this musical direction: her performance at the 2011 MTV Video Awards featured a song with a Queen’s guitarist Brain May.  She has performed with and is very close to (godmother to his son) Elton John.  Could Lady Gaga channel David Bowie e.g., Ziggy Stardust? Sure!  Have throwback Lenny Kravitz produce the album and play guitar, with John Paul Jones on bass (e.g., “Are you going my way” Lenny Kravitz tune).  Have multiple guess musicians like Brian May, Bowie, Elton John, etc perform duets on the album.  I mean could Lady Gaga outdo Meatloaf in a 7-minute duet with Mr. Kravitz?  You bet.  Remember Mr. Kravitz wrote a handful of hits for another female performer who always found a way to re-invent herself to sustain her career – Madonna.


Dr. Dan-o

2 thoughts on “Lady Gaga and Being Different (or Interesting)

  1. There is an HBR case on the marketing strategy of Lady Gaga — in creating herself as an artistic phenomenon. I have not read it but saw it on a list of new material from HBR.

    • I think pop singers employ some of the most unique and effective marketing strategies. They are risk-takers. I’d love to read that HBR case 🙂

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