opinionRihanna’s Tremendous Bowl present was a masterclass within the new enterprise of entertainmentGus Carlson
Gus Carlson is a U.S.-based columnist for The Globe and Mail.
When greater than 110 million viewers tuned in to the Tremendous Bowl halftime present final Sunday, they noticed a spectacular efficiency by Rihanna, the multiplatinum recording star making her first stay public look in nearly seven years.
What a lot of those that noticed her present might not have realized was that they have been additionally experiencing the total energy of Rihanna, Inc., one among a brand new breed of entrepreneurs utilizing their artistic expertise to drive multifaceted industrial enterprises past the stage and the studio. These stars have realized that being profitable the old style method – live performance excursions – is, nicely, old style.
As Rihanna, clad in all purple, was lifted and lowered on a platform above the stage, belting out her megahits akin to We Discovered Love, Solely Woman (Within the World) and Impolite Boy, the advertising and marketing machine for her Fenty Magnificence line of cosmetics was already in excessive gear.
A big group of Fenty Magnificence ambassadors and influencers invited to the sport flooded social media with posts. The singer herself included a fast plug of the model in the midst of her set. The message: That purple lipstick and the make-up she was sporting – all of it Fenty Magnificence.
Rihanna wasn’t simply promoting a product – she was the product. And her 13-minute efficiency was the longest industrial of the night, exceptional in itself since advertisers have been paying US$7-million for a 30-second spot.
The technique was good and efficient. Knowledge from Meltwater, a digital advertising and marketing tracker, reveals searches for Fenty Magnificence have soared because the present. The executives at LVMH, the posh model powerhouse that launched Fenty Magnificence in 2017, should have been beaming.
It’s no shock Rihanna was named the youngest feminine billionaire by Newsweek, with a web value north of US$1.7-billion – US$1.4-billion of it from Fenty Magnificence.
To make sure, the blurring of movie star and commerce isn’t new. However what the world noticed at halftime on Sunday wasn’t merely movie star endorsement – like George Clooney hawking gourmand espresso, Taylor Swift shilling for bank cards or Matthew McConaughey flogging luxurious automobiles.
It additionally wasn’t product placement, just like the gauche swapping of James Bond’s traditional Aston Martin for a BMW sedan within the 1997 movie Tomorrow By no means Dies or Sly Stallone’s Cobra pausing to drink a can of Pepsi whereas he shoots at a nasty man in a grocery retailer.
And it’s a good distance from the previous days of rock live shows, when followers purchased swag akin to T-shirts with a band’s identify on it. It’s nearly scary to suppose what product strains the Rolling Stones or Megadeth would possibly spin off in the event that they have been to pursue the type of industrial technique that has made Rihanna so wealthy.
What’s totally different is that Rihanna isn’t only a movie star who’s buying and selling on her fame – like a Kardashian. She truly has expertise, and her model is completely built-in with who she is and what she does.
Model specialists would name it an ideal alignment of the model promise and the enterprise worth proposition. You don’t simply purchase lipstick endorsed by Rihanna – you purchase lipstick she creates, invests in and makes use of herself to carry out on the most important stage on the planet. It’s a case of do as I do, not simply as I say.
Equally exceptional is what her look did to viewer demographics. Tens of millions of younger Rihanna followers who in any other case wouldn’t care about soccer tuned in to see their idol’s comeback. It’s the type of generational shift the NFL desperately wants as its model continues to be dogged by claims of racism and being out of contact with the following generations of followers.
After all, some have stated Rihanna’s look was about activism, not artwork or commerce. She declined an invite to carry out on the Tremendous Bowl in 2019 to protest the NFL’s therapy of Colin Kaepernick. This time, she stated, she accepted the gig as a result of “there’s nonetheless a whole lot of therapeutic to be carried out in my eyes.”
Nonetheless you take a look at it, Rihanna had the final snicker. Whereas she did the present at no cost, her 13-minute efficiency – at US$7-million per 30 seconds – was value greater than US$180-million in industrial time. Within the course of, it created a seismic monetary occasion for her model that was felt around the globe.
What’s it that investor and bestselling writer Phil City stated about payback? Making huge cash is the very best revenge.