Celebrities Behaving Badly (CBB) is a category on AML that I launched in April 2012 after Seun Kuti went bananas on Obi Asika on social media. The rants and attacks were so intense, I decided to launch the category to gather the foolishness on social media and to use it as a way of discussing, primarily, public relations and branding for artists. On to today’ s post…
Dr. Sid, a Mavin Records recording artist, has a new song titled ‘We Up.’ Since the release of the song just last week, fans have been creating their own interpretations of the songs and sharing on social media. One such fan decided the song meant twerking in a thong. She recorded herself doing just that in sync with the song and uploaded the video on her social media platform. Dr. Sid apparently found the video compelling, he shared it on his social media timeline and included the following, “All the Way Up.” However, instead of the praise he probably anticipated, many of his fans voiced disapproval of the retweeted video, including Nollywood A-List Actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde who left a comment saying “this is not okay.” To his credit, in response, Dr. Sid had the sense to listen to his fans and subsequently delete the video and comment from his social media timeline.
However, instead of the praise he probably anticipated, many of his fans voiced disapproval of the video, including Nollywood A-List Actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde who left a comment saying “this is not okay.” To his credit, in response, Dr. Sid had the sense to listen to his fans and subsequently delete the video and comment from his social media timeline.
What do I believe are the lessons from this incident?
I believe this CBB case underscores the need for artists to understand their brand identities and the audiences they served. Knowing your brand identity necessarily means knowing your values. What drives you? Who are you and how does that square with the commercial music brand you are building? Dr. Sid, for a while, was one of the least liked artists post the breakup of Mo’Hits. Many believed he was at the heart of causing D’Banj and Don Jazzy’s split, and the untimely death of an African music dynasty. It did not help that a leaked audio emerged where Dr. Sid could be heard voicing strong dislike for D’Banj. That also had a viral and negative effect on the Dr. Sid brand.
After some lapse of time, and it appears re-strategizing, Dr. Sid was able to take control of his brand narrative and present a very different look to the world. He went from that artist or friend that can stab you in the back to an artist that was mature, polished, made fun music and was drama free. When he married his lawyer wife who became the center of attention with the way she handled friends who couldn’t even be bothered to honor her invitation for a bridal shower, it further solidified his brand positioning. People gained and voiced the fact that they now had more respect for him. Sid has since won awards, produced great songs, and built more clout as an artist and businessman in the entertainment industry.
Given the aforementioned brief history and his new brand positioning, posting a video of some girl in a thong twerking to his song was highly incompatible with his brand. Artists, you have to listen to your customers and give them what they want. While you shouldn’t lose your personal brand identity, you also shouldn’t throw completely left fields to your fans, especially where it makes no sense to do so.
Good thing Omotola and other fans called him out on the nonsense.
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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia. Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine.
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