Kanye West – A Marketing Success Story?

Kanye West | Online Marketing Surrey | Thunderbolt Digital

Our marketing team at Thunderbolt are often scratching their heads to think of ideal strategies that would suit your business. While they are very entertaining, we generally would not suggest the publicity stunts that Kanye West produces again and again.

The volatile nature of the American rappers stunts gain him a lot of attention from the media but not all of the love that he craves. Here at Thunderbolt our focus is online marketing and can help you with search engine optimisation, social media and web design.

In 2015 we have read multiple news stories about the latest stunt Kanye West has pulled. Although the regularity of stories do not come as a surprise, it is always fun to read.

This made us wonder, are these just gaffes from Kanye West? Or does he simply have the most creative marketing and publicity team, who work overtime, to meticulously plan each and every one of his stunts?

In this blog we have a look back at his highly controversial moments, and some of his most memorable of 2015.

2005 Hurricane Katrina incident

In the aftermath of one of the worst natural disasters to hit America, West was on screen with Canadian actor Mike Myers in a Red Cross appeal. West then launched into a rant about how black people are portrayed in the media closing with “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”.

The video makes for an amusing watch as Myers stands awkwardly next to West for a few seconds until the camera cuts to Chris Tucker in a different studio. The YouTube video now has over 7 million views and was a viral sensation across the U.S.

Bush, President at the time, said the comment “was one of the most disgusting moments” of his presidency. West apologised in 2010 saying he did not mean the comments and it was something he said in the heat of the moment; to which George Bush replied with an acceptance saying “I’m not a hater”.

2009 Taylor Swift incident

Notorious for causing a ruckus at awards ceremonies, his most famous moment was arguably at MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMAs) in 2009. Taylor Swift won Best Female Video Award for her debut single “Love Story” beating Beyonce’s popular “Single Ladies” video.

West stormed the stage of Swift’s acceptance speech saying “Taylor I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best music videos of all time”. The outburst even made President Barack Obama call him a jackass. West apologised personally two days later, and in 2010 wrote a number of apologetic tweets.

As mentioned, this was not West’s first and only Awards stunt. In 2006 MTV Europe Awards he argued on stage that his “Touch the sky” video should have beaten eventual winners “We Are Your Friends” by Simian Mobile Disco and Justice (watch here). Again at the 2015 Grammys, he stopped himself interrupting Beck’s acceptance speech when he beat Beyonce to Best Album. Just as we thought it was a joke, West later said that Beck should have respected music and given the award to Beyonce (watch here).

2015 Incidents

Since the Grammys, West has been in the UK on an publicity rampage – interviews, performances, lectures and shops have all fallen victim to his publicity driven personality. His tour of the UK started with a BRITs performance that contained more bleeped swear words than if The Thick Of It was broadcast for prime time television. The result was rather underwhelming for him because more talk was focused on Madonna’s fall on stage during her performance. Another publicity stunt? Watch this space for a West slip at the next Awards ceremony.

Clearly disgruntled that the plaudits were not all about himself, an interview with Zane Lowe was released the following evening. West broke down crying in the interview when talking about the death of fashion professor Louise Wilson. In an interview showing West’s emotional side, he and Lowe discussed personal topics such as his marriage with reality star Kim Kardashian and their daughter North.

So what happens next? He refuses an interview on The Jonathan Ross Show. After performing “Only One” on the talk show, West lay on the floor in an incident described as “a meltdown” (watch here). Since his JR moment, West has still been in the press for various antics.

  • He gave a lecture at Oxford University and said he could be greater than Picasso if he studied fine art.
  • He then went to an art college in London, perhaps to start his course to become Picasso.
  • He visited the Adidas store in Oxford Street working as a shop assistant for a few hours. In order to sell his new products and in an apology for them being over priced.
  • He performed a surprise gig at Koko, London, bringing out some of the biggest rap artists in the UK and US. After making the crowd wait until 2am for the doors to open the rapper gave the crowd an incredible set and was the talk of the media the following day.

So if it is down to Kanye West’s team of brilliant marketers then perhaps we should stand up and applaud the way he carries out every plan to perfection. However we still would not try and sell ourselves to our clients with high risk strategies like these.

This is because in reality it most likely isn’t a team of marketers who plan out Kanye West’s stunts; they are the team who have to deal with these gaffes and fallout of his moments of madness.

Thunderbolt Digital is one of the fastest growing digital agencies in Surrey. We specialise in providing top tier online services from online marketing to web design in Camberley and the surrounding areas. If you are looking for a new website, or help with your online marketing then give us a call on 01252 413757 or send us an email howdy@wearethunderbolt.com – we’d love to discuss your online needs.

 

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