Tidal: Jay Z’s Streaming Wipeout

By Sergio Claudio

On Monday, the world awoke to disrupted social streams courtesy of a new music app from Jay Z and friends called “Tidal.”

“We’re starting a revolution… change your avatar to blue in support. #TidalForAll!”

Instantly, all the cool kids were joining in. News spread that Kanye, Rihanna, Daft Punk, and Madonna joined the movement. For the musically curious, it was definitely worth a look (campaign mission accomplished).

To my utter disappointment, Tidal is yet another streaming music service that belongs in the “me, too” category of the app store. Claiming to be the ultimate listening experience with its revolutionary Hi-Fi streaming, the app adds hardly anything to the streaming space and comes off as a direct Spotify clone. And with a $20-per-month price tag (or $9/mo for standard definition), Tidal is basically telling fans to leave their tried and true streaming music experience for a nearly exact duplicate at double the price, because, why, HOV said so? (Oh by the way, the app and campaign were founded so that the multi-platinum artists can make more money? Jigga please.)

I’ve asked myself why I care so much. Admittedly, my reaction caught me off guard, but it must be driven by my inner-marketer. It’s hard to believe that a “business maaaaaaan” and his team of high-powered celebs would blow their influential load of social influence on a campaign for an app that does nothing new. And, furthermore, bastardizing a social strategy that has been effective for causes that people truly believe in, to try and force some prosthetic story about unity and Revolution down our throats all to support an app that is made to… make them more money? I call bullshit, and so did the rest of the Internet.

The Twittersphere quickly launched its digital tomatoes at the lackluster press conference that boasted a “follow me” celebrity lineup and awkward silences. With a keynote address from Alicia Keys replete with fluffy aspirational platitudes and misplaced Nietzsche quotes, the Tidal team made their attempt to rally the masses around a music concept designed to benefit the rich and famous while offering nothing of true value to their users. What were they thinking, that people will buy anything if they put their names on it? Now I’m sure there are those who can make the same argument about Dr. Dre and his Beats brand, but the difference is that people can get behind the idea that somewhere the good Dr. has “been in the lab with a pen and a pad” while wearing those headphones, or at least headphones with the same technology.

It’s all about the storytelling, the brand narrative, and the fact that people believe in brands that portray an image of some form of authenticity. While Jay may believe that he can sell water to a whale, when his pitch blatantly says “because you drinking this water will make me more money,” those whales would probably rather drink sand instead.

The lesson here is that we are living in a user-driven world where brands speak to more sophisticated, informed consumers. If you’re going to come out guns blazing with this much star power, do something that is going to disrupt the industry in a big way. Do something that truly flips the industry on its head. Create new music that will be licensed to platforms rather than pushed through distributors and labels. Release new albums for these influential artists exclusively on this platform. Come through with some serious innovation and fans will gladly pause their Spotify playlists to hear what you have to offer.

Otherwise, you’re just insulting their intelligence, and the Internet will respond by drowning your message in meme-worthy posts and illuminati propaganda.


Why Social Media is No Longer Optional

By Rocio Gonzalez

Consider the role brands play around events like the Oscars or the Super Bowl. It’s clear that you can spend millions of dollars in commercials, and still your campaign can be outdone by a single, simple tweet.

We only need to look back a couple of years and remember Super Bowl XLVII, when — shortly after Beyoncé killed her halftime set — the power went out in The Superdome and Oreo seized the moment.

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It proved to be one of the most memorable branded tweets ever, particularly because it filled an unexpected vacuum that arose during a night when brands famously spend millions of dollars on a few seconds of airtime. It was a quick, nimble, and cost-effective piece of marketing. Oreo set the bar for brands to engage with consumers during high-profile live events.

Since then, many have tried to replicate that shine on Twitter and Facebook. Among them, DiGiorno — who could forget how, later that year, they caused a Twitter storm live-tweeting NBC’s “The Sound of Music Live”?

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Big brands have realized the importance of being on high alert during big events like these. Both Twitter and Facebook function as a forum for users to come together and comment, making for valuable tools of influence over the years. They’ve become indispensable elements of the viewer’s experience, a true “second screen experience.”

Last month, Lady Gaga “won” the Oscars and the Internet thanks to social media. Twitter said her Little Monsters generated the highest number of tweets per minute during the show, while Facebook estimates there were 214,000 Gaga-related interactions globally during her breathtaking performance. Lego also had a big night, even though “The Lego Movie” was snubbed. The brand garnered 47,290 mentions on Twitter alone during the Oscars — thanks to a rendition of the movie’s theme, “Everything is Awesome,” which was, appropriately, pretty awesome. It wasn’t nearly as huge as last year’s epic selfie with Ellen DeGeneres, but impressive nonetheless.

All this is to say, brands that are serious about their future need to be serious about social media. As we’ve said in the past, you have to go where consumers are congregating, so when we build a strategy for a client, it’s essential to bake in a social game plan. Social media is an incredible, powerful machine, and those brands that leverage it wisely can quickly rise above the noise. It’s more than just an afterthought. Ignore it at your own peril.

The Magic of Thalia and Macy’s

On the heels of an unprecedented fashion show, it was time to head back to the Big Apple to join two of our most iconic clients in celebration of a groundbreaking launch.

Earlier this month, RockOrange marked the official launch of the Thalia Sodi collection at Macy’s legendary Herald Square flagship store. What better place than the world’s largest store to celebrate a star who is larger than life?

Our RockStars were tasked with U.S. Hispanic media outreach to make the event — and the collection — a total success. The team supported Macy’s internal team, with everybody, from the event team to the PR team, coming together for a night to remember.

Different factors set this project apart for us. First of all, this is the biggest launch in Macy’s history, and the events surrounding it matched the scale of a superstar like Thalia. This main event, which took place on March 4, was a spectacular celebration spanning several floors of the Herald Square location. This is the first time that Macy’s presents a collection that spans so many departments, from apparel, to shoes, to accessories.

The official launch of the collection was a must-attend style event that featured media, VIPs, influencers and an appearance from Thalia herself. We started by coordinating several one-on-one interviews with a few of our top media friends, followed by an intimate VIP reception at Stella 34 in Macy’s. We then collaborated to help put on a fashion show, which was introduced by Terry Lundgren, chairman and CEO of Macy’s, and featured more than 50 vibrant looks from the collection. We also engaged some of Thalia’s most devoted fans, who were able to meet the star, take pictures and get her latest album signed by the star.

The store’s salute also encompassed six Broadway windows dedicated to showcasing the collection, with graphics and mannequin strike points along the main floor and a branded display atop Macy’s Broadway marquee.

We’re proud to have brought our RockStar power to the table, to ramp up buzz around a collection that is as sparkling, dynamic and fresh as Thalia herself.

Follow the buzz with #ThaliaSodiCollection and #ThaliaForMacys on Twitter and Instagram.

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