Never Say Never to The Bieber

My sister is an up-and-coming dancer, who won tickets from Millenium Dance Studio to the L.A. premier of Never Say Never, starring THE Justin Bieber. It was pure pandemonium, with screaming girls everywhere you turned. The film was fun, and honestly, made me understand exactly why these teenage girls are SO INTENSELY wrapped up in him. But, more importantly, I saw the several crucial lessons about social media and audience attention.

1. Never Say Never is titled that for a reason. This kid had a natural inclination for music, dating as far back at least to the age of two. But despite his pretty immense talent, considering he was an untrained child musician, basically, the big labels rejected him, mainly because he wasn’t aligned with Disney, or Nickelodeon, the two powerhouses of youth entertainment. Because they had such a cornerstone on the market, and the music labels fed into those old business models, he couldn’t break in the easy way, thus, he turned to the internet. He became a bit of a sensation online, got a manager who truly believed in his talent, appeal, and hard work, and then they kept at the whole music game until a second chance meeting with Usher propelled him to fame. He built his base by going directly to them: YouTube, and Twitter.

2. Because of the direct engagement of Justin Bieber (the content creator) to his fan base of teenage girls (the content consumer), the fans are much more engaged and invested in the career, life, and content of the creator/Bieber. His mother says it best in this movie — these girls feel this intense connection to him because they feel like they’ve been with him from the beginning. Essentially, his career from the beginning to now has been broadcast out in the open for his fans to experience. When the big labels were saying no, his fanbase was growing, even though he didn’t have a bajillion dollar record deal or Justin Bieber licensed pajamas.

3. The openness of The Bieber World is insane. As I mentioned before, this premier had tons of young fans in the seats. Not just the sons and daughters of Hollywood’s elite, but kids who cut class to stand outside of Club Nokia for hours, and then run inside and watch the most epic  movie ever in life. The craziest part to me was the immense cheering not only for The Biebz, but also for his doctor who told him he had to suspend his tour for a couple of days in order to make sure his throat healed properly; they screamed at his random friends from Canada who appeared in his music video; they went nuts when his manager’s title card popped up on the screen. These girls have a front row seat to his entire world.

The amount of engagement in his fan base is absolutely incredible. I would say that the only kind of phenomena that compares to Bieber Fever may be Beatlemania. Maybe, as well, the same kind of fervor people had for Michael Jackson (I don’t know what those people are called — Jacko Wackos?).

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About Michelle

I like pie. And clapping.

Posted on February 19, 2011, in New Media Programming, Quarter 1: Winter 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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