Tuesday, 9 February 2010

VV Brown and Marks & Spencer - Just a Brand ?

Yesterday in the media you may have seen or heard an article that supported an argument that we ran last week in a piece about one of our new favourite groups - Yuck - here. This argument was simple; one day it may be possible for a band or artist to be a huge commercial success without ever releasing a song. Such a statement may seem ridiculous, but rather like the concept of a man on the moon in the fifties, limitations only exist in the mind.

Yesterday it was announced that VV Brown was going to be one of the faces of the new Marks and Spencer advertising campaign. A number of you may have shrugged your shoulders and asked “Who?” Well, she’s the retro-fringed singer who had a minor Top 40 hit last year with the song Shark in the Water. Remember ? Maybe not. But that’s irrelevant, because young Vanessa appears to be doing very well thank you, building a career and profile based on selling very few records in the UK.

The logical progression of this model of ‘success’ is for another future artist to build such a media profile that he or she can earn significant income but never get round to releasing a record. Of course this is effectively a modern day celebrity. Not famous because of a talent or skill, but because of their exposure in the tabloid media. The time will probably come when following a wave of blog buzz, media hype or tipster prediction derived from a carefully orchestrated marketing campaign by the artists label, that artist will generate enough income from advertising deals, merchandise and product endorsement that they will ‘forget’ to actually record a single or album. Maybe they’ll ‘play’ a couple of TV shows or heavily media saturated awards events, where they mime along to their possible future single. The performance will be to remind everyone why they are famous in the first place, but by that point no one will care anyway, especially if the artist in question manages a very carefully planned ‘media moment’; turning up in the most flesh revealing costume of the evening perhaps, or revealing a little more skin than they supposedly meant to for example during a ‘shocking’ slippage of an item of clothing.

We’re not there yet though. But it wouldn’t surprise us if this day comes. As revenue through record sales continues to decrease, it is surely only a matter of time when an artist stops (hello Lily Allen) or doesn't even start releasing material to make money. Of course in the curious case of VV Brown, the songstress has an album. Not many people cared. But maybe the Marks and Spencer advert will help boost her profile. VV Brown advertises the M&S brand which in turn boosts the VV Brown brand, which in turn makes the VV Brown brand more desirable. It’s like turning a plastic Tesco carrier bag into a Gucci handbag. You can then sell the Gucci for a lot more money. Before you know it, that ‘pop’ career has long been forgotten. Can we alter the words of Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip a little here ? VV Brown - Just a brand ? You decide.

And once you've asked that question, consider this as well, does a VV Brown promo single float in the Thames ? Not exactly relevant to this post we know, but kind of interesting anyway...

No comments: