There is no such thing as bad publicity is said to stem back to Phineas T. Barnum, but here today the title of this marketing crown in entertainment must be held by the marketers of Syco Entertainment.
Marketing by its very purpose is to create and develop a brand to increase revenue. Simon Cowell has built his career on good marketing, his knock down phrases to prospective contestants alone make excellent content marketing.
Let’s look at X-Factor 2016, we can only imagine the Dark Lords brief prior to this year’s series, but I would guess it was along the lines of ‘recover viewing figures, we must get people talking about the X-Factor.’
The first move was to use well paid staff who knew how to play the marketing game … also known as Judges. The sexy sultry Nicole Scherzinger who knows how to be noticed on the judging panel on live nights. The wonderful Mrs. 0, Sharon Osbourne could write a best-selling success and marketing manual. (Maybe a little forgetful at times but again that gets people talking.) Last but by no means least our happy leprechaun Mr Louis Walsh, whose sometimes random and supposedly unexpected loose cannon comments always gets him talked about.
We must not forget the return of Dermot O’Leary, a public favourite, and the use of some subliminal advertising using short clips of him shaking his stuff with nice dancing ladies placed in the advertisement breaks.
The most important thing for a Talent Show is talent. Alas this may have fell short this year no prospective Little Mix, Leona Louis or One Direction contenders in this year’s finalists. So, the X-Factor Marketing Machine kicks in and once more uses the ‘Barnum’ technique to get people watching and talking, I give you Honey G.
Honey G is the marketing stooge, a lady who has believed from day one she could win. Does she have talent? I know my response to this, but her success in staying in the competition is marketing joy. I would guess she is currently one of the most talked about people in the media. Even the best interviewing tactics of Piers Morgan and Jonathan Ross can’t get evicted contestants and Judges to admit what they really think of her ‘talent’. Simon Cowell has gone from hate to love and seems to have ensured his judges fall inline. She is visual, I will give her that, but would you play her album? The word wildcard is often used in the X-Factor and Honey G was the marketing wildcard, that has worked.
Love her or hate her she has given the X-Factor amazing marketing coverage, it may not have brought the viewing figures back up to their heyday, but the Live Show figures have raised significantly on last years and you can’t avoid the words X-Factor and Honey G in the media.
The point of this does go to show ‘There is no such thing as bad publicity’ if used cleverly.