Justin Bieber Connects With His Fans Via Shiny Nail Polish

from the One-Less-Lonely-Girl dept

Around here, we're always on the lookout for cool and interesting ways that musicians can connect with their fans. But oftentimes, the criticism against experimenting with new business models that don't rely on "selling music" tries to assert that "not everyone can do that!" -- and that not every artist can make a living from selling T-shirts or concert tickets. But those arguments miss the point. It's obviously true that not every artist can make a living by just selling T-shirts or by playing putt-putt golf with their fans. The point is that there are an infinite number of ways for artists to sell unique offerings to their fans -- stuff that fans will want to buy because there's a connection to the artist.

Now, I'm not a Justin Bieber fan, but the news that he's designing his own line of nail polish targeted at teenage girls -- sounds like another example of an artist trying to connect with his fans (and make money by doing so). Clearly, not just any musician can sell nail polish with heart-shaped glitter suspended in it. But this nail polish line highlights the fact that musicians can endorse almost any product (no matter how silly) and expect a reasonable business model -- if the endorsement has even a hint of authenticity.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 5:24pm

    Let me be the first

    Looooots of Nail Polish!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Zacqary Adam Green (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 5:40pm

    Well, this won't do much to dispel the rumors that he's gay and/or actually a girl.

     

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  3.  
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    zakiya lodge, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 5:52pm

    hi

    um i will buy justin beiber nail polish i think it nice he doing this for his fans iam a big fan of justin i love justin so much he so sexy i went to his concert my first concert it was nice i love justin and hopes he love me back i know he love me back hope he come back to ny it going be nice

     

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  4.  
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    Jeff, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:35pm

    AHA! I knew it.

    Justin Bieber is gay. I knew it.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:53pm

    You can't use justin beiber as an example of a musician

     

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  6.  
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    netwrok, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 7:07pm

    lol

    Nail polish... LOL

    Although, it will definitely sell well, since his fans are mostly tardly teenyboppers. But then again, they would buy a turd wrapped with a bow, just as long as it had his name on it.

     

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    interval (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 7:35pm

    If Gay...

    ...he's a saavy marketer and will make a (another) fortune. If strait, he's a mo'fo'ing genius and a sexual god.

     

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  8.  
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    Godvomit, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 8:01pm

    You know, at a certain point

    At a certain point, it's just called "selling out" (or, less delicately, becoming a prostitute). The more ways a musician has to find all of these other ways to "connect with fans" to monetize their profession, the less focus they are putting on the music itself.

    Remember the days when doing a Coke commercial meant you were a sell-out?

    Sure, for artist-as-entrepreneurs, this is all well and good, but not all musicians fall into that mold.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 8:38pm

    OMG

    I will totally buy it! Yay!!!!!:)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    mrharrysan (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 8:52pm

    Times change my friend. It's not like musicians had it better in "the good ol' days". Frankly, most artists never made much money from disc sales anyway. Now, at least, there are more options for non-superstar musicians to make a living too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Jeff, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 8:55pm

    haha

    Mike, are you serious? This kid has nothing to do with this decision, and is obviously a marketing ploy because of his owners.

    He himself was made popular because he had the backers of Disney for god sake. It was inevitable that he became the next "preteen sensation". There's absolutely no way this would NOT have worked. You should do more posts on small bands that are making a living with absolutely no large corporation help and by touring constantly. Yonder mountain string band, cornmeal, the ragbirds, the string cheese incident(a big example) keller williams, sound tribe sector 9, umphreys mcgee.... i can go on and on and on and on.

    All these other bands tour constantly and ALLOW us to tape and freely trade their shows. Almost all of them allow the videos of their shows on youtube. Their open taping policy has done NOTHING but help and i have yet to see you really report on any.

    2 posts above me says it the best.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 9:22pm

    Re: haha

    Mike has repeatedly reported on this...it's just that its so generic, there is absolutely no point in NAMING the bands.

    All up-and-coming bands tour a ton, absolutely none of them would sue fans, and every last one of them will use YouTube and every other available resource to promote themselves.

    You'll find dozens of articles here explaining exactly that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 9:24pm

    Re: You know, at a certain point

    What mold?

    There's supposed to be a mold?

    And name one artist who made a living off his/her art that isn't a sellout. Here's a hint...there aren't any. Every single one has, and will continue to, pander to their audiences.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 9:36pm

    In other news Weather Girls will be opening for Bieber singing "It's Raining Men", rumor has it that Men At Work also can be opening for him.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 9:59pm

    Re: Re: You know, at a certain point

    Animal Collective.

    What'd I win?

     

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  16.  
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    Michael Ho (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 3:46am

    Re: haha

    I might not be the Mike you're looking for, but I wrote this piece... and my name is also Mike.

    In any case, the point of this post is that artists of any size (in this case: megastar) can sell things that are "not music" and expect to do well if it's executed properly. And as you point out, the marketing folks behind this move could not be executing this better -- they've even got WalMart involved to push Bieber nail polish.... so this will most likely be a slam dunk for Bieber.

    It's obviously harder for small bands and individual performers to coordinate a "nail polish" line... but coming up with things to sell that "fit" with an audience is critical. We'd love to hear about more examples of small bands coming up with "stuff that engages their fans".... because small bands have to be more creative than "nail polish" to get attention and gain more fans.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 4:15am

    Re: Re: Re: You know, at a certain point

    Animal Collective are sell outs. Also, they are cheesy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    mosiac user, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 4:33am

    nail polish

    gay or straight,I couldn't care less, In fact about Bieber I couldn't care less. However, more band entrepreneurs could take a lesson here.Use the research and development done by larger acts and modify it to fit your situation. In case no one has noticed, even older folks are showing up with black or purple nail polish at work. It's baby boomers trying to proving they are still "with it" and relevant. Nail polish is the new T shirt,except it won't get you kicked out of the board room. Disney, Walmart,whomever. These guys are geniuses. Dollars to doughnuts,someone will pile-on with a set of favorite band decals for fingernails. And speaking of genius,when will we see the first nail polsh based advertising campaign? 1/2 half off a sub sandwich if you come in with a corporate logo of Subway on your ring fingernail?

    Hey,dibs on that idea...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    REndesme', Oct 15th, 2010 @ 5:49am

    OMG this is sooo cool LOVE YOU JUSTIN!! xox

     

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  20.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 7:40am

    Re: hi

    I think you have mistaken Techdirt comments for youtube comments.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    nasch (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 10:19am

    Re:

    Justina Bieber? Hm...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    bieberfever4eva, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    OMG IM SOO GONNA BUY ITTT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 7:19pm

    I'm shocked that this post doesn't have 1000 comments already.

     

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  24.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 10:58pm

    Nail polish artist?

    I love music, and I admire art, but most so-called "artists" are simply people too lazy to do something useful. I am glad to hear, in his own (very) small way, that he is doing something USEFUL!

     

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  25.  
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    Godvomit, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: You know, at a certain point

    By "mold" I was referring to this paradigm of musicians as entrepreneur. That is, an "artist" who scrambles to fund his "hobby" of creating and/or performing music by spending an inordinate amount of time working on ways to develop a "brand" and use that brand to generate revenues in non-musical channels.

    Like you, I think many artists question whether they should have to fit into any sort of mold. In fact, if the artist is iconoclastic (as many of the great ones are), the whole idea of neatly fitting into a label or category is anathema. So in a sense, this expectation that they think of exciting merch or novel personal services ("For $5,000 OK GO will WASH YOUR CAR and give you autographed polaroids of the experience!") is just the sort of thing to make a point to avoid. Why would you feel the need to radically fetishize the inherent and delineated meanings of the music with personalized glossies or elaborately constructed jewel cases designed for nothing more than the physical marketability of their own construction, anyway? As an artist, why would you want to pander to such fans?

    Come on, admit it: such an enterprise slowly eats away at the soul of an artist and threatens to dull what gave spark to the inspiration behind their art, no?

    And I think it's rather cynical to believe that there aren't artists who can live off of their art without selling out. Sure, the most commercially successful artists--the ones who live off of fame--have all been co-opted by consumer culture, but that is because that is the world they choose to inhabit. "Sell-out" or not, that was their choice or it was their compromise to make.

    That said, simply because an artist may make money outside of their music doesn't mean they have sold out. It's the blending of the two enterprises that brings about corruption. If you play in cafes at night or on the weekend and make land deals in an office during weekdays, you can live as an artist without selling out your art. Know what I mean?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    bella, Apr 25th, 2012 @ 7:08am

    I think this is a grait way to show his fans that he cares about them.Love the idia i hop he gets benifits from it.:-*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    aaisha, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 2:30am

    art

    i am your real fan

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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