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Rock Brands : Selling Sound in a Media Saturated Culture

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Rock Brands: Selling Sound in a Media Saturated Culture, edited by Elizabeth Barfoot Christian, explores how different genres of popular music are branded and marketed today. The authors provide research explaining how established mainstream artists and bands, from Christian heavy metal bands to Kanye West to Marilyn Manson, are continuing to market themselves in an ever-changing technological world, and how such bands can use integrated marketing communication to effectively "brand" themselves to prevent technology and delivery changes from stifling their success. Rock Brands further addresses the use of religious and political words and images to gain an audience, as well as the latest technological influences of gaming, reality television, and social networking websites.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 156 x 232 x 30mm | 739.35g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739146343
  • 9780739146347

Review quote

Like Alan O'Connor's Punk Record Labels and the Struggle for Autonomy (2008), which looks at the DIY movement, and Sidney Eve Matrix's Cyberpop: Digital Lifestyles and Commodity Culture (2006), the present volume explores the connection between marketing and the longevity of pop/rock. The contributors, among whom Christian (journalism, Louisiana Tech Univ.) figures prominently, discuss, among other things, the manner in which marketing has sustained the career of Ozzy Osbourne (far beyond his expiration date); demolished and amplified the career of Marilyn Manson (whose inadvertent use by the Columbine killers thrust the singer into a long, protracted campaign to distance himself from disturbed fans); and revivified the corpse of Michael Jackson (and the flagging fortunes of his estate, from $250 million at his death to a cool $1 billion in 2011). Segmented into three sections-on branding, the confluence of image/religion/politics, and sustaining fame beyond life-the essays explore, as Christian writes in her introduction, how 'older and new popular music acts ... function (and) ... thrive in this new fast-paced culture.' This book provides clever, gritty analysis of the symbiosis between advertising and pop institutions such as MTV, Elvis, the Internet, and Xbox's Rock Band without tipping over into demeaning cynicism. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. What makes some bands stand out and succeed when so many fail? How does one find a niche that isn't just kitsch and can stand the test of time, allowing the musician to grow as an artist as well as grow a substantial fan base? Elizabeth Barfoot Christian and the book's contributors expertly navigate these questions and more in Rock Brands: Selling Sound in a Media Saturated Culture. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Museum Library and Archives While media studies acknowledges the business side of communication and marketing considers advertising strategies, few people bring the two together in a systematic fashion. Elizabeth Barfoot Christian takes a first step in remedying this with a volume devoted to the branding and marketing of rock music genres...The overall collection offers a wealth of historical information, music industry developments, applications of new technologies, and artists' strategy. Communication Research Trends As a rock critic-a lifelong fan who has had the privilege of seeing his passion become his profession-I abhor the very notion that the music should be viewed as commerce as well as art, and that musicians need to think of 'branding' to assure a long and fruitful career. But Elizabeth Barfoot Christian and the contributors to Rock Brands: Selling Sound in a Media Saturated Culture approach the issue as scientists and academics, setting aside the question of whether an artist should or shouldn't 'sell out,' and instead offering a fascinating, insightful, and, yes, alternately inspiring and distasteful look at the the place where music and marketing intersect in the new millennium. -- Jim DeRogatis, rock critic, author, and co-host of Sound Opinions Rock Brands offers an impressive analysis of the popular music industry at a pivotal moment in its history. Changes in technology and commerce are driving a revolution that's complicated, fascinating and a little bit scary. These 17 essays offer remarkable insight into the impact of this revolution on music, and they help explain what it means to American culture. The book leaves no popular music genre uncovered and critically examines the careers of many of the most important pop musicians of our day. -- Christopher Campbell, Director, School of Mass Communication and Journalism, University of Southern Mississippi Catching students where they are, immersed in pop culture, Dr. Christian and other authors explore communication theories through the prism of heavy metal, rock and roll, country, and other forms of music. She examines the continuing popularity of KISS, fueled by the cross-promotions engineered by Gene Simmons, for example, and challenges readers to figure out why we know certain names and not others. Weaving in such 21st century phenomena as reality shows, free file sharing (illegal downloading), and distinctive cell phone rings, she provokes critical thinking about matters many young people take for granted. One intriguing section, subtitled "how religion and politics play in pop music culture," investigates the soft spirituality of Bon Jovi and the scary vibes of Marilyn Manson. This timely book concludes with a chapter on Michael Jackson, whose brand is even more powerful in death than in life. -- Nancy Day, Chairperson, Journalism Department, Columbia College Chicago Rock Brands: Selling Sound in a Media Saturated Culture is one of those handful of important books that chart the important relationship between popular art and commerce. Its assortment of highly readable essays provides valuable cultural insight into both the music business and the business of music. This is a must have book for those who want to learn more about how popular culture really works. -- Gary Hoppenstand, Editor, The Journal of Popular Cultureshow more

About Elizabeth Barfoot Christian

Elizabeth Barfoot Christian is assistant professor of journalism at Louisiana Tech University.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Part I: Leaving a Lasting Impression-Why Branding Works Chapter 3 Chapter One: KISS Your Money Goodbye: Why fans can't get enough of the biggest rock brand in history Chapter 4 Chapter Two: Highway to Heavenly Profits: The marriage of AC/DC and Wal-Mart Chapter 5 Chapter Three: The family Osbourne: A narrative of domesticity tames and enriches the godfather of heavy metal Chapter 6 Chapter Four: "Moving her hips, like, yeah": Can Miley Survive the Hannah Brand? Chapter 7 Chapter Five: Birds of a Feather? Positioning Phish in Relation to the Grateful Dead in Rolling Stone Album Reviews Chapter 8 Chapter Six: Fandom of the Internet: Musician Communication with Fans Part 9 Part II: Image is Everything-How Religion and Politics Play in Pop Music Culture Chapter 10 Chapter Seven: Manson's R + J: Shakespeare, Marilyn Manson, and the Fine Art of Scapegoating Chapter 11 Chapter Eight: Leading People to Rock: Evangelism in the Music of Bon Jovi Chapter 12 Chapter Nine: It's Still Rock and Roll to Me: Christian Heavy Metal and the Problem of Authenticity Chapter 13 Chapter Ten: Sight and Sound: How a Louis Vuitton Advertisement Defines Rock and Roll Chapter 14 Chapter Eleven: Kanye West: A Critical Analysis of a Cultural Icon's Rhetoric and Celebrity Chapter 15 Chapter Twelve: Country Crooners and FOX News Part 16 Part III: Outlasting Your 15 Minutes-Making the Medium Work for You in Life and Death Chapter 17 Chapter Thirteen: "If You Catch Me At The Border I Got Visas In My Name": Borders, Boundaries, and the Production of M.I.A. Chapter 18 Chapter Fourteen: Your 'American Idol': The Intersection Between Reality Television, Ideology and the Music Industry in Popular Culture Chapter 19 Chapter Fifteen: Gaming the Guitar: Aerosmith, Metallica, The Beatles, and the Music Video Game Revolution Chapter 20 Chapter Sixteen: How Much Does It Cost If It's Free? The Selling (Out) of Elvis Presley Chapter 21 Chapter Seventeen: Death in Digital: Michael Jackson, 21st Century Celebrity Death, and the Hero's Journey Chapter 22 Acknowledgements Chapter 23 About the Contributors Chapter 24 About the Editor Chapter 25 Indexshow more