Friday, February 1

Beyonce Saves Her Brand

Many other people have suffered faster brand declines for doing what could appear to be far less.   Witness Ashley Simpson.

But Beyonce, in a classic textbook best-in-class PR move, saved her brand this week by coming clean on the whole lip syncing issue.

She did it by telling the truth, and by creating a news event in and of itself.

In a press conference for her upcoming Super Bowl appearance, Beyonce opened it up by asking everyone to stand up while she sang The Star Spangled Banner accapella.

Proving that she can indeed sing.  And boy did she sing.

"Any questions?"

Then she revealed why she "sang along to a pre-recorded track" ... leaving everyone to say to themselves, "well that makes sense," and "well that's her choice."

Let's face, Brand Beyonce was in a bit of trouble; it could have gone any way.  She saved her brand, by demonstrating her talent and telling the truth.

Many a brand can learn from her.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Professor, NYU

PS - Join me during The Super Bowl for live tweets about the advertising (and about Beyonce's half-time performance) at #SBExp on Twitter!


  1. I don't know Jim - She might have done the best she could in recovery, but I still think it hurts. Her being as capable as she is, makes it even more annoying that she sang-along for the inaugural edition.

    I think what really did it for me, is she tried to pull it off, and play it off as "real", by not speaking up immediately. She also tried to sell it as authentic, with what body language experts call repeated "selling acts", as she over dramatized her facial expressions and body movements to mask any poor-timing from her actual singing and the recording. This was most notably seen by pulling out her earpiece towards the end of the anthem. Often a gesture musicians make to demonstrate genuine involvement.

    But that's just my "Exp". Maybe just because the more capable a person is, the more I expect.

  2. Time will tell, but I think she saved herself at the Super Bowl. JIM

  3. Social media commentary seems to think that she saved her brand, that's for sure. The resounding sentiment is that she put on quite the show ... entertainment. And although she didn't sing all that much (lots of background vocals), she did indeed sing and she danced and strut'ed her stuff. Brand Beyonce! Jim.

  4. I hear now that PETA is after her ... somehow I don't think that will stop her. JIM

  5. Jim - I had to circle back! I think her performance at SB was great! It was, and I don't think her brand as an entertainer has ever really taken a hit - Inauguration or otherwise. I have no idea what PETA is up to, and I agree I don't expect it to stop her, or her brand in any way.

    I did hear something, and it's the second time I've heard that she's tried it. I'm not sure if it serves her or not: She has tried to demand/influence online publishers not to host a certain awkward pic of her from the SuperBowl performance. Nothing graphic, but bad timing and angle made an unflattering photo. If that's true, I'm not sure if it helps her more than having a good sense of humor? I remember hearing the same efforts over a video the circulated a few years back when she fell down on stage at a concert/show.

    What's your take Jim? Not if it's true or not - but if letting it lie, or trying to sweep it away is more serving?

  6. That's an interesting one. In some ways, asking her fans to stick up for her and not circulate is kind of cool. It's something anyone would ask a friend to do. But at the same time, it's kind of cool for her to be a real person and just admit that sometimes she takes bad shots. Either way I think she's fine. JIM.

  7. I showed the pic to my wife - her immediate reaction after LOL'ing "I'd want that down too!".

    I think it is a tough spot, for any celeb. If one chooses to take and capitalize on all the benefits of celebrity status and fame for its positive effects, should they get to be reprieved from the negative effects?

    ...I think I just got an idea for my next article.. I'll have to circle back after! Thanks Jim!

  8. It's a natural human reaction and emotion ... we'd all want it taken down. Some of us would make a humbling joke about it and some of us would be upset. Isn't ok for celebrities to be human? Very interesting. Jim.