On the 1st Day of Christmas Beyonce Gave to Me

So it happened. The album dropped. Everyone make sure you have your emergency supplies ready. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, allow me to fill you in. Beyonce has been talking about releasing a new album soon for a while now. It has been said to be a “masterpiece”. Everyone has been so excited about this new piece of art from one of the Queens of Pop. And then it happened… tonight she released the album. There was no ad campaign. My sidebar on YouTube wasn’t filled with different pictures and links to the new album. It came silently, like a thief in the night, and made all the little Beyonce fans wet their pants. Sidebar: Do Beyonce fans have a name like Gaga’s “Little Monsters”?

Beyonce "The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour" - Los Angeles

So while many of my friends are rushing to download the album (and by the way, everyone kiss the iTunes servers goodbye for the next few hours), I thought of an interesting question: How much marketing is truly necessary for the sale of an album? Now obviously it is far too early to fully answer this question since it has been only a half hour or so since it dropped. But in the past half hour I have counted 48 Facebook statuses on my Newsfeed about her album. How is it that an album that no one knew was coming be this big of a deal and be publicized solely by fans this quickly?

Allow me to offer a comparison. I love Lady Gaga. I think as an artist she is really interesting and has a lot going for her in the entertainment industry. However let’s talk about the “ArtRave”. A month or so ago Lady Gaga had a giant party/album release shindig/salon/publicity stunt/performance art piece. It was covered by a bunch of entertainment news agencies and there are videos all over YouTube of the evening. While performing Lady Gaga wore a flying dress that looked like something out of Inspector Gadget. One of her dresses was inflatable and was a cross between a life jacket and that igloo dress that Lizzie McGuire wore (see below). It was overall a ridiculous, over the top, artistically expressive evening that hailed in the era of ARTPOP.


So here is the question: Which method is right? Would Lady Gaga have done better or worse with the Beyonce method? Would Beyonce have done better or worse if she had belted while bungee jumping or done a photoshoot in a vat full of Slurpees? Is the world shrinking due to social media to a point where so much marketing is done by us, the consumer, that marketing teams are made up over teenagers following their Twitter feed? I can honestly say I don’t know the answer, nor do I even claim to know the answer. But I will say this, if this new Beyonce method will decrease the number of sidebar ads I have on YouTube or the number of Sponsored Facebook posts, I’m all for it.

Now I’m off to go listen to this “masterpiece” of an album. Honestly I will probably review it at some point this week. But for now I will let it lull me to sleep, just like little Blue Ivy Carter who is counting sheep, and Jay Z who is counting dollar signs.

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