Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lady Gaga's Songs Are Like Big-Budget Movies Destined For Box-Office Millions

The thing Lady Gaga does so well is making everything she does a spectacle. Every single she releases is like a big-budget movie destined for millions of box office dollars and product tie-ins. Gaga and her marketing team know how to generate interest and they continue to do so with Gaga's latest hit "Alejandro."

"Alejandro" is a song from Gaga's The Fame Monster released last fall in November 2009, but 7 months later, the song is ubiquitous. It's currently the No. 6 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Aside from its catchiness, "Alejandro" is mainly a success because of Lady Gaga's brand. If anyone else had released an ABBA song filtered through Ace of Base, it wouldn't be anything special, but the public has come to expect stimulating visuals from Gaga that cleverly connect to her songs. With the presence of a still from Gaga's "Alejandro" video that leaked to the Internet several weeks ago and an appearance on Larry King Live last night, featuring a sneak preview of the video, Gaga has been promoting "Alejandro" smartly. With the June 25 release of products sold on her online store (, consumers can buy a $50 gift package of Alejandro-related products.

The gift package consists of a T-Shirt, a candle in the style of the Our Lady of Guadalupe candles popular in Mexico, a red-rose ring, a CD featuring the Alejandro remixes. Smartly, the original version of "Alejandro" that's heard on the radio and the video is not on the remixes CD, which encourages people to buy The Fame Monster album, whether the standalone album or the deluxe version sold with The Fame album. All in all, the inclusion of the remixes CD leads to more profit.

The T-Shirt has Gaga's face on it looking upwards cropped in a heart design. Her image is surrounded by a tapestry-like border with a red cross at the tip of Gaga's head in the image. Gaga's image, the border and the cross are all colored in red. Under the border, it reads the text "Lady Gaga Alejandro." At the top of the border, it reads "No Llame Mi Nombre, Alejandro," which is one of the hooks on "Alejandro" that means "don't call my name, Alejandro" in Spanish. The red coloring of most of the graphics represents blood, which is a common theme in Gaga's visuals and music. The rest of the T-Shirt is black, representing death and mourning, which is another one of the themes of "Alejandro."

The candle  modeled after the Mexican Our of Lady of Guadalupe candle reinforces Gaga's brand. The image on Our Lady of Guadalupe is of the Virgin Mary. It's a huge part of Mexican Catholic culture. Our of Lady of Guadalupe was also a symbol used by the Mexican armies during battle, during revolutions. Gaga said on Larry King Live that "Alejandro" is about her admiration for gay love and  how gays fight for their right to be happy. The image on the candle modeled after the Virgin Mary symbol is obviously Lady Gaga. It's a play on the Our Lady of Guadalupe, and it's another example of Gaga making spectacles out of official figures, just as she made spectacles of Barbara Walters and Larry King. It's part of her art, it's part of the Lady Gaga brand.

The rose-ring has the face of a rose bloom. Like the images on the T-Shirt, the rose-ring is colored in red or rather plated in red. One side of the rose-ring has the word "Lady Gaga" engraved, and the other side has the word "Alejandro" engraved. The roses represent the romantic tone of the "Alejandro" song and the recent performances of the song.

There's no doubt that Lady Gaga loves her art more than anything else, but there's also no doubt that she loves to make money. Who doesn't? Loads of money will be made from the online purchases of the "Alejandro" gift package. Lady Gaga's consistent brand of ideologies is inserted even deeper in the pop culture conscience. Interestingly, Gaga hasn't mentioned the gift package in any of her media appearances, yet I don't think she needs to.

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