There are two types of people in the world, one’s that are disheartened when they discover something they once idolized is fictitious and those that pride themselves on not getting caught up in the hype to begin with. Now, don’t get me wrong, getting caught up in the hype is part of the magic of entertainment as we know it. But not being able to differentiate real news from promotional stunts contributes to the kind of thinking that induces mass hysteria.
All alleged theories about the arranged marriage/business partnership of Jay-Z and Beyonce aside, over the last week the world has witnessed one of the most wide-spread promotional campaigns of all time. And most of us remain engulfed in the enchantment known as the recent Solange Elevator Stunt .
First of all, there are a few things that come into play leading up to the promotional stunt itself. One, Jay-Z hasn’t done a solo tour in well over a decade, so its no surprise that the Solange Elevator Stunt was just in time for his co-branded summer tour with Beyonce– conveniently titled On the Run.
“Coincidence!” millions will counter, but is it? Hell Naw! Jay-Z and Beyonce stay on tour, its how they make most of their bank. Last year it was Legends of the Summer with Justin Timberlake. The year before that it was Watch the Throne with Kanye West.
But with the media saturation of Dangerously in Love, followed by Crazy in Love and now Drunk In Love, fans who are on the fence about paying a minimum of $250 per ticket to watch Beyonce and her man do duets (Barry Manilow style) need something a little more sensational to make them dig deep into their pockets for those steeply priced stadium seats.
Secondly, this is Jay-Z were talking about, the man who manufactured a decade long beef with long-time friend Nas; all in the name of boosting album sales–a tactic that worked tremendously. Not to mention his partnership with Microsoft to unleash a guerrilla campaign consisting of a nation-wide scavenger hunt to promote the debut of the Jay-Z autobiography Decoded.
Think of Jay-Z as a hybrid hip-hop mogul that’s 2 parts Vince McMahon and 1 part Don Draper. Then take into account his elaborate team of marketing geniuses that he employs at his own co-ventured advertising agency, Translation. Now take a step back and think about all the manpower it takes to make this married couple more globally relevant than any royal family in existence.
This is a team that knows just how to leverage free ad real-estate by leaking a video online as part of an “unpredictable promotional stunt” without ever having to purchase ad space of any kind. They infiltrated the media in a way that keeps on-lookers engaged throughout the duration of this summer’s On the Run tour. And I have to say, it couldn’t have been executed more flawlessly.