Branding: The X Factor In Entertainment
If there are any detractors in the merging of branding and entertainment, they are the minority. Branding is the X Factor in entertainment, and the X Factor show is a case in point.
Some rockers are strongly anti-corporate, and any artist backed by a brand is considered a sell-out. This belief has a long history, with roots in classic rock. What this translates to culturally is: those who believe art must be free from commercialism on one side, and the labeling of "sell-outs" on the other.
The X Factor exists--like virtually any TV show since the day the TV was invented--because of sponsors. For the X Factor, Pepsi and Verizon head the list followed by a slew of technology partners like Newtek, TV Plus, Bottle Rocket and Aardvark Brigade.
Newtek powers the Pepsi Preshow Live web stream. TV Plus builds apps and an innovative interactive web browser. Bottle Rocket built the Xtra Factor iPad App. Aardvark Brigade built the X factor site for the most part, along with Sony and Fox. When you think about the team it takes to sell a show or movie or launch a star, well, we're talking one very big machine. And ask Simon Cowell how he feels about corporate sponsorship and the branding of art and/or entertainment with products and services. Need I say more.
Every TV show, from I Love Lucy to Breaking Bad exits because of a cornucopia of brands, the companies that form the very structure of modern society. The rocker who envisions a world free of corporate hype would have to live in the woods if the goal is to be completely free. The TV he watches was made by GE or Magnavox. The Coke he drinks, well...and the car...even his guitar, most likely a Fender Stratocaster. How many friends of the rebel rocker are employed by major corporations? How many people globally?Continued on the next page