Bad Blood perhaps, but bloody good PR
Another weekend, another big awards ceremony in the world of celebrity. Sunday night saw some of the biggest names in the music industry take to the red carpet at the Billboard Music Awards, but there was one name in particular that dominated the ceremony – Taylor Swift.
I’m going to state the very obvious here – something that has been very obvious to very many for a long, long time – Taylor Swift owns PR. If you look up the term in the dictionary, her photo is probably next to it.
Sunday night’s award ceremony saw the hotly anticipated release of her brand new music video, Bad Blood. Prior to the awards, Taylor dominated another platform, this time social media. The hashtag #BadBloodMusicVideo was trending on Twitter and today, the simpler #BadBlood was one of the top hashtags in the UK – not bad considering the Billboard Music Awards aren’t even screened here.
In the run-up to the big reveal, T-Swift started a countdown on social media, releasing a photo of each of the famous faces appearing in the video and their character. ICYMI, the video and corresponding images were shot in the style of Sin City and featured a number of Swifty’s best celebrity pals, including tops models, fellow singers, an actress or two and even Cindy Crawford as the aptly titled Headmistress. Not bad, eh?
Rewind a couple of years and Taylor Swift was a virtual unknown in the UK and popular in America thanks to her country roots. But then of course, the media found an interesting side to Taylor – her love life and the fact that she unapologetically bases her songs on her own personal experiences, leading many to question who a song is based on for weeks, nay, months after its release.
Back to present day and Taylor releases her smash hit album 1989. Kicking off her cowboy boots, Miss Swift adopted an altogether pop-ier sound for this latest offering and no-one (especially the record label execs who tried to persuade her not to do it) could have predicted its success, but she was determined to do it. Cracking PR angle there Swifty – you’re completely in control, we get it.
Of course, accompanying the album’s release was the obligatory “who’s this one about” line of questioning, while Bad Blood was widely rumoured to be about T-Swift’s feud with fellow pop maestro Katy Perry. However Miss Swift may address the constant speculation surrounding her songs, there’s no doubt it drums up interest in her music – talk about letting the music speak for itself. Most would kill for that type of PR.
Feud or not, by incorporating so many famous faces into her latest offering Taylor Swift has, in one fell swoop proved, beyond doubt, that she has the entertainment industry (and that’s a massive industry) on her side. Who’d want to fight with that? Forget Bad Blood, she may as well have gathered them all together and started singing “Do you wanna be in my gang…” instead – it’s basically the same thing.
For Taylor Swift, PR may be the cherry on top of a very large cake but it’s very, very well balanced.