Expert: Rebecca Black Will Probably Only Be Remembered As a Girl Who Made a Bad Video
Does Rebecca Black have staying power? While she's managed transition from YouTube fail sensation to being accepted in the mainstream, she has a long way to go before becoming a successful music act.
Celebuzz talked to branding expert Rob Frankel (robfrankel.com), whose clients include Disney and Burger King, and written books on the subject. He's also appeared on NBC Nightly News, FOX News and many other TV shows talking about branding.
According to Rob, unless she is able to move forward as a successful brand, Miss Black will eventually fade into oblivion.
What is branding and why is it so important? Branding is the most misunderstood aspect of Marketing. For me, branding is why you should be perceived by your prospects as the only solution to their problem. That’s the most important part of branding. Beyond that, you want people to be so clear on that that they’ll pass it along to others.
How does that work in Hollywood? There are many women or hunky guys with great bodies and a lot of head shots that pass over a casting director’s desk, but I can tell you that there’s usually only one person that they go, "That’s our guy!" You need people to quantify that and know how to market that. When you’re dealing with celebrities, that’s what you need to do.
How do you explain the success of someone like Rebecca Black? She got a ton of media and it became a popular thing, but the price you pay for non-branded high media is a very short life span. Where are William Hung and Susan Boyle? These are people who hit really high, really hard. There aren’t a lot of people with strong, long-term careers. You’re seeing a lot of people hitting a lot of places hitting really hard, really fast, getting the money and then falling off the radar screen. That’s probably the track you’ll see Rebecca Black on. There’s no discipline, no marketing and no management.
What people have is the short-term opportunity to get it while it’s hot and then we move on. What I would say is to take it back and talk about a brand strategy. I don’t know the people behind her; I’m just seeing the results of their actions. You can pay your way in to a lot of places. They’re not investing long-term here.
When you say that Rebecca Black doesn’t have a brand, what do you mean by that? It goes back to my definition. Can you imagine a casting director saying there’s no one else like her? When you put it in those terms, you start to realize that there’s a lot of generic talent out there. Rebecca Black could be anybody. That’s bad. We know her video was paid for and that it was planned. We know that it was pushed virally. That could have been your pet hamster in the video. That’s not good, because it could’ve been anybody. That means that the value is not there. A year from now, she will still be a girl who made a really bad video.
If Rebecca Black would come to you, what would you recommend? Hire me! I’m only half kidding. I would say to slow it down for a second to figure out a solid brand strategy so that the people who book you and do deals with you can approach you thinking they have to sign you because no one else does what she does. It’s all about strategy. You want people to think she’s a good person to do business with and know that she delivers.