9 comments on “‘Brand’ David

  1. John
    I agree with you that we “cringe at the idea of David being reduced to a mere product”. Sadly, it IS a “money market” out there and David has no choice but to go along with it to attain bigger commercial success (although I’m not sure that’s precisely what he wants).

    Crush is a very good song but I think, to some degree, it was riding on the wave created by his success in A.I. And also, his fans were fanatical about showing their support after the loss of the title itself, which they felt was rightfully his – me included.

    The Crush Album, although being tremendous, was based mainly, I think, on what the Label’s opinion of David – I don’t think they had any idea as to what David was about – and David himself, so young and inexperienced, would not say anything that was to the contrary.

    This time round with TOSOD, I have a feeling of positivity – that he is moving towards the right direction – for him – and he will create his own wonderful brand in the near future.

    I think I will love TOSOD much more.

    I know nothing much about the workings of Jive – but what I can tell them is : Hey you guys, you’d better treasure this priceless commodity (word used for Jive’s benefit)!

    Trace

  2. Correction:

    …and he will, unconsciously, create his own wonderful brand…..

  3. Trace 🙂

    Thanks for your response and I in turn agree with you 100%.

    That’s why I’m very glad that he and/or Jive is delaying the release of his 2nd album. In fact I wouldn’t mind waiting even until next year if that’s the time he needs to get better material.

    Jive musn’t hurry him in order to take advantage of his Idol fame because the vast majority of those people have moved on and proof of that are the download numbers of SBL which pales in comparison to that of Crush. I would rather they make triple sure that he’s got the best material to put on his cd because David deserves that consideration.

    So I hope Jive is giving him a far bigger say in the recording of his 2nd album which seems to be the case judging from all his tweets about songwriting collaboration with other songwriters.

    Having said that I still feel that Jive is not promoting him enough. A case in point is SBL. We still haven’t heard a live version of it yet. My question is why not? Why isn’t David being featured on TV / stage performing that song live at every opportunity? That’s the only way to get the song noticed by other fans. Why is David left to his own devise so much of the time like going to concerts and such. He should be promoting that song and the forthcoming album like crazy by now by going out there and telling people about it.

    One of the reason why Taylor Swift had such a huge selling 2nd album is because her management team and record label promoted the heck out of her by getting her out in the public for people to see and hear. I don’t see Jive doing that for David and it’s a shame because David loves to sing and thrives on hard work.

    As I said earlier, the majority of David’s fan base from his Idol days are no longer following him and therefore Jive has to work triply hard to find new fans for David.

    This is why I’m asking if David should be thought of as being a brand and if so then what should be done to market that brand? So far I feel Jive is not doing enough and they shouldn’t think that the balance of David’s fan base is big enough to sell a million albums.

    I’m selfish in the sense that I so want David to have a really huge career because he deserves it and he has the talent for it.

  4. The factors surrounding the first week of “Crush” and “Something ‘Bout Love” couldn’t be more different. Back in 2008, David was fresh off American Idol and receiving lots of media attention thanks to the summer Idol tour. This time around only the very core of his fan base knew about the release of the song: namely, those of us who frequent fan sites and/or his official website. The media attention surrounding David these past few months has focused almost entirely on Chords of Strength.

    Since SBL is very radio friendly, I believe it will be successful. Nevertheless, I do pray Jive has a solid marketing strategy for the song. The release of the video for SBL should help boost exposure, and David seemed very pleased with the final edit when he tweeted about it a couple of days ago.

    As much as I am chomping at the bit for David to become a worldwide household name sooner rather than later, I’m glad his career is not going the route of, say, a Justin Bieber. Very few teen sensations have successful adult careers, often because they are simply a marketed commodity with only a modicum of substance behind all the hoopla. The great thing about David right from the beginning of Idol was the fact that nearly everyone, including his early detractors, recognized his vocal maturity and talent. As time has passed, the majority of the negativity coming from the media has evaporated. This is due in part to the respectable showing of his freshman album and the great success of “Crush.” In addition, the fact that David has matured physically and become far more adept at handling interviews and dealing with the media has worked in his favor, as has his reputation for being a stand-up guy. The point I’m trying to make here is I believe most realize that David is more than just a teen idol. Everyone he’s come in contact with, be it songwriters, producers, music executives, television hosts and personalities, etc., recognize that David has the substance missing from the likes of the typical teen star. In other words, they see a long-term music career in front of him. If Billboard’s review of SBL is any indication, then I’m optimistic David will win even more respect with the release of The Other Side of Down. Here’s a link to the review:

    http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/magazine/reviews/singles/e3i4e5fe86c8a88e96ba2317ed5b0970c7a

    It’s inevitable some of David’s Idol fan base would move on, especially the young ones with a short attention span; however, many of them will return once they hear SBL. Also, you can add in those who’ll be more willing to take him seriously now that he is approaching twenty. If Jive will, at long last, take the initiative and market David more broadly, including the European market, I feel very confident in the prospects for his future success. If they fail, David will at least have the freedom to walk away after the release of the album. I rather doubt Jive wants to lose him, so that should help light a fire under their feet. Finally, as a person of faith, I know God has a plan for David, and I trust in Him to guide David and all those involved in helping bring his career into fruition.

  5. John

    I agree with you totally about Jive seemingly not pushing SBL and promoting David enough at this point of time. Having said that and having mumbled and grumbled under my breath all through my hours these past 2 weeks or so, certain ideas about possibilities crossed my mind:

    Could Jive be using a different tactic in their promotion of David, with a long-term plan in mind?
    I mean, do we really know the inside story of Jive’s “secret” strategy for David in the long run? Remember David’s recent tweet: “If all you know is what you see, then you don’t know very much”. Could he be referring to this, knowing that all the die-hards have been upset about SBL not doing as well as expected and hoped?

    Jive used to have no, or very little, idea of how to deal with a unique singer like David, but I am sure they are beginning to realise what a gem he is and they definitely do not want to lose him. They must be blind, deaf and stupid not to realise it, and I’m sure they are not. So, maybe, just maybe, they still need to gauge the kind of market that is best for him. A kind of long-term plan. As your article compels: a Brand.

    So my assumption of the workings of their minds for SBL is this:

    Stage 1
    The initial task is to release it for downloads which of course is targeted to the die-hard fans. Are these die-hard fans mostly people of more mature taste? ( since, presumably, the teenie boppers, who are mostly fickle, have moved on) If the taste for his music is of a more soulful and deeper type, is it more advisable to let David focus more on that genre of music – that which is closer to his heart? Is Jive faced with this question? (To me, SBL definitely has more soul and depth than say…..TMH)

    Stage 2
    Then to release the musical vid and radio play and subsequently the live shows which will draw the attention of the general public – the non-fans who need to be woken up and converted.

    Stage 3
    Then finally to release of the album with a bang – a culmination of the die-hard fans and the others.

    As I write this, I feel more and more ridiculous. But, other than this outlandish opinion of mine, I cannot fathom, as you do, as to why why why Jive has not yet given SBL the outright promotion it deserves. They seem to be waiting and waiting …..but waiting for what? So my over-troubled mind has come up with the above. To take it one step further, I am also troubled and bewildered as to why David has not already been hailed and celebrated by the majority of music lovers by now.

    Katheryn

    I cannot agree with you more:
    “I know God has a plan for David, and I trust in Him to guide David and all those involved in helping bring his career into fruition”.

  6. Interesting point of note, John.

    I do believe that they will not under-promote him, especially not in Asian countries, where the Archuleta name still pulls a lot of power. However, in terms of US TV Appearances, they have little to go on.

    David is not a sensational star, not in the Hollywood sense of the word. He is a low-key man, who prefers to just sing and perform and give back. He isn’t involved in scandals (at least, nothing of his own doing) and isn’t anywhere near ‘exciting’ as other teen starlets.

    He isn’t the protégé of say… Usher (total random star choice, btw), neither is acting in big budget movies.

    Long story short, he isn’t interesting enough. A memoir and a single, both of which is currently more niche based for the fans, isn’t going to cut it. It’s not going to generate enough interest, so it seems more wise to bid their time and wait, and then BHAM, onslaught marketing, as much as they can.

    At this point, radio plays will help. The higher the visibility, the higher the curiosity.

  7. James: “long story short, he isn’t interesting enough”

    That’s the crux of the matter isn’t it? Nowadays it’s more about the personality rather than the talent. The edgier you are the better. Be contrary to the nth degree and you’ll go far as a celebrity. Even American Idol is jumping on the bandwagon and openly courting edgier contestants for the new season.

    David is just too darn nice and grounded to go down that route and that’s the way we, his fans, like it but ‘pays’ the price of relative obscurity.
    He’s caught in a no man’s land of not quite teenage idol and not yet a contemporary adult.

    So like any good brand manager Jive must find an interesting angle or story to act as a framework for David’s promotion and marketing. I feel they’re hanging back too much and just relying on his core fan base which, like you said, “isn’t going to cut it.” There’s no real attempt to get David’s visibility factor ratcheted up which is a shame and a puzzle to me. For example surely Jive could have twister some arms to get David to sing SBL on the upcoming TCA awards. Now that would be a very visible platform from which to promote his new song but it ain’t happening. David’s just going to present and how much will those few seconds on TV register in fans minds?

    Here’s a guy who can REALLY sing but it seems to me they still don’t know what to do with him nor know how to sell his story.

  8. WORD, John.

    Personality is of course important, and I wouldn’t support an artist to the extent I have with Cook or David, not someone who clashes deeply with my core beliefs, like for example, equality and human rights. If David Cook said, “Yeah man, let people unlike me be our slaves, I’m down with that”, I’ll be done with him. The point being, personality and character is important.

    Problem is the world at large seems to have forgotten that TALENT supersedes character and looks.

    David has got oodles of talent, but his mild personality doesn’t make him much fodder for entertainment outlets.

    It’s both a boon and a bane, I suppose. On one hand, you live a good, clean life, on the other, you have to work extra hard to get people to acknowledge your efforts.

    TL;DR: People at Jive, do something!

  9. John – thanks for a thought-provoking article. All I could say is becoming a superstar has nothing to do with talent or having amazing songs but everything to do with “money”. If Jive is well-known for being frugal on promotions, then, as a fan, we’ll try to support him in every way throughout his career.

    James – good observations of today’s young music customers. I agreed with you that David is “not interesting” enough for the music scene today, too bland for their taste even though David is a handsome young man with a gorgeous voice.

    Talk about Asian market, the teens and young adults today love extravagant “looks” and performances, for e.g. Super Junior. Their recent concert in Malaysia was full of techno, fireworks, 1 1/2 hrs of non-stop dancing and all of them have mediocre voice (not too sure what they are singing about) that can create excitement. Who cares as long as these guys are “pretty” and on MTV all the time. The best part is that their management is willing to fork out thousands of dollars promoting them and it was reported sold out concerts throughout the Asian country. Rain’s concert was also awesome, too, same concept. It still boils down to “$$”.

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