Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Art of the "Marketing Stunt" never dies....a response to Bob Lefsetz Letter, Re Myth Makers

Dear Bob,

Thank you for eloquently explaining what I do for a living, yes I'm a "fixer" or now, I'm in the group referred as "the creatives", my personal favorite, "diabolical genius". I'm one of those people that think these "tactics" up. Don't think it is limited to music, you can see it in business, college athletes, actors and now politicians. In the day, we could take the amazing and with a little spin, a couple obtuse ideas,  and we made people stop and listen. The artists became immortal i.e. Jim Morrison, Jimmy Hendrix, Ozzie Osbourne even as far back to Ricky Nelson, Ozzie Nelson his father was brilliant. I started working with Dinah Shore in the late 70's, Burt Reynolds years. It was bragged in our small circle of "fixers" that "we could fix a dead hooker or live young boy in your bed and make the client look like a victim".

That still goes on today with Bieber, and Swift and those are the ones you know about. The ones I see more are the TV and business guys being lifted from obscurity over a deal. The mediocre hired by the brilliant trying to be seen or heard. The interesting part, those stars along with Jimmy, and Ozzie had a pure talent, they just needed a push (in the way of the press) to be immortal, however, they were the real deal, the music, and message, were king, the music lived on. These were just brilliant creative geniuses that had a little issue with conventional behavior in a structured environment. After meeting and working with Jerry Garcia at a gig, I am convinced he was on the spectrum of autism. Many artists, as you so often spotlight, had scary wicked talent and lived vicarious, which in most cases, we desperately kept out of the news. In the day, "Stunts" either conceived or by chance, pushed the boundaries of convention, it is like dropping the mic onstage today, yep enough said.  Now we see the mediocre live forever i.e. the Kardashians with the audience waiting for the next exploited tragedy. Zoey Tur explained this with riveting detail on LA's KFI 640 on the GaryandShannon Show. As Zoey (formally known as Bob) Tur was the first news chopper pilot with her crew, who found the white Bronco containing OJ and AC. She recounted the events of the famous chase beginning the reality show trend we see today.

We created a monster, this tactic is not easy, a few dared it, because if the "OP" didn't work, you were a 30-second wonder and hated. The client had to have the talent to both "stay" in the light and shine, the talent lived on and the work took its rightful place in history. Now we have a culture that wants to be famous for the sake of being famous without talent. The audience slips away because the actor in this charade has no talent to keep the audience or has to keep performing more and more stupid human tricks to stay in the limelight. I've always said, "the bear at some point has to dance" I can hype it, sell it, market it. But when the time comes the bear better do a great Gregory Hines impression or their done and the audience leaves. It's always been in politics but now it's even worse, would have ever had thought we'd see the day when a presidential candidate would insult a woman journalist and rise in the polls. Sadly, hype over substance still rules the world.
Thank you, Bob, for your a true sage,
Dr Allen Miller