While I was on my way to work this morning, my radio station of choice played a clip of Ellen's interview with Oklahoma singing sensation Greyson Michael Chance. Here's a link to the clip: Ellen & Greyson Michael Chance
The news/internet is all abuzz with "Lord Gaga", as he's been christened, playing off of his talented vocalization of Lady Gaga's song "Paparazzi."
I must admit that I am very impressed by this 12-yr-old boy from Edmond, Oklahoma.
But I can guarantee you that his talent isn't what put him on Ellen's radar.
Sure, if you want to look at it with general observations, you can say his talent is what got him that spot on her show, but that's like saying that Monica Lewinsky became a household name because she's pretty.
The Missing Link...and no, it's not a caveman.
You know those Geico commercials with the cavemen? "It's so easy a caveman can do it."
Well, publicity is not that simple, and the missing link between Greyson and Ellen---and between Monica and the news reporters--is nothing related to hard or easy work.
Monica Lewinsky was offered the position as the spokeswoman for a clothing line because of her connection with President Clinton and the ensuing media frenzy.
In today's example, Greyson is merely riding the coattails of Lady Gaga, who is a worldwide phenomenon right now.
Authorization Not Required
Note that both Greyson and Monica did not need permission from their "celebrity."
Greyson didn't ask Lady Gaga to endorse him. He didn't seek her approval on his songs. All he did was upload a video of him covering one of her songs. Giving credit where it is due, he listed her name as well as the title, since the song is hers, in his youtube listing. He even noted that he had no rights to the song, in effect showing that he was not endorsed by her.
And it's blown up to over 11 million views. [Greyson's "Paparazzi" Video] At 8 million views, Ellen brought him on her show and arranged for Lady Gaga to call and endorse him.
Now he's a hit, and I bet that he'll have music deals, appearances, etc. out the wazoo. Hence the new nickname: Lord Gaga.
As a Lady Gaga fan myself (yes, I am going to her concert!), I can't wait to get a cd of Lord Gaga. I love his style, love his covers, and love his original work as well. Also keep in mind that he effectively drew more attention back to Lady Gaga too. He's not using her here; he's just throwing himself into her dialogue with the listening public.
Monica....well, do I really need to explain myself here?
Be Kind, Rewind
Okay, here's my summation of my post today: always ALWAYS be looking for ways to connect you, your talent, your product to a celebrity.
THIS DOES NOT MEAN SENDING YOUR PRODUCT TO HIM/HER AND EXPECTING A REVIEW/RESPONSE/ENDORSEMENT.
That rarely if ever happens to new products.
But maybe you think that Tiger's wife should read your book. Blog about it; mention Tiger's name in your tweets; explain why she and others in her situation needs your book and how exactly he/she could benefit from it.
Find a way to imitate or respond to any celebrities in a manner that will attract their audience, which is your target audience, to you and your product.
Lead by Example
I like to do crafts, floral arrangements, cook from scratch, etc. I'm utterly and irrevocably in love with the Martha Stewart Brand.
If I wanted to promote myself and any product or service I offered, I would put together a video series and upload to youtube. Perhaps I would take something that the MS brand doesn't explain well, or something that they didn't offer directions and pictures to, and make it the focus of one video. I'd upload it to youtube, include the links to Martha's site with her info on it, and I'd link it wherever I found people looking for the info (such as blogs, forums, web pages, comments, etc.).
Then they can watch other videos I've got on my youtube channel, and then they'll visit my website, and eventually they will order my product...even if it has nothing to do with any of those videos.
Make Like a Tree and Leaf
Flowers and trees put off thousands and thousands of seeds each season. If given the right soil [market], effective sun [buzz], and enough water [momentum], the seed [product] will take root and grow into a new flower or tree [brand.]
That is the goal of every person who holds a position involving marketing. It should be an author's goal as well.
Question: Think of your life, your product, your talents, your hobbies, your dreams, etc. What figures would you identify with? What celebrity figures does your target audience follow? How can you direct attention to that figure as well as to your product?