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Pop Culture & Miss Communication

Posted by Chris Bell on 31st March 2010

Famous for her bold fashion statements, risqué music videos and expletive lyrics, Lady GaGa certainly didn’t disappoint when her latest music video ‘Telephone’ was unleashed.

Sticking two fingers up to convention, GaGa’s sensational, ‘Telephone’, at 9 minutes and 27 seconds long, leans more towards a short film format than music video, mimicking a similar style to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ video. A professional censor would have a heart attack after watching this lengthy tune. The video contains swearing; nudity, a lesbian snog and there’s even some mass murder thrown into the equation to create an explosive video designed to shock and be noticed.

And noticed it has been. Released on March 11th 2010, the video has become an internet sensation and is about to pass eleven million hits on YouTube.

But despite this, it wasn’t the imagery that caught this Generation Y’s attention the most, but the lyrics. Telephone is all about miscommunication (and in fact its release follows a Lady GaGa and Beyonce Knowles duet ‘Videophone’). Both songs reflect the technological society of today, commentating on our ever-changing environment, where people seldom have time to talk.  People are actively choosing whether or not to take your call or engage in a conversation with you.

The same is true for brands. It would be a lot to ask your target audience to actively listen out for the information you are broadcasting to many. And even when you do create a ‘direct line’ to your customer, what’s to say they’re even going to take your ‘call’?

The answer is simple; it’s about building a relationship with them that will keep the lines of communication open. Let’s face it – you’re much less likely to answer the phone if it’s a call from somebody you barely know, or don’t know very well, but if it’s your best friend on the line that’s a different matter.

If brands take the time to build relationships with their target audience, to understand their thoughts and behaviour, they can increase the number of meaningful interactions with them through positive, two-way conversations.  Boosting loyalty and respect for a brand in this way can help to keep the communication channels well and truly open.

picture credit

Chris Bell