Lady Gaga – two words, eight letters just 24 years and already a trailblazing icon. Love or hate her , you cannot deny that the Lady Gaga is the reigning queen of the music world and popular culture. Often hailed as Michael Jackson and Madonna’s lovechild, she leaves controversies in her wake wherever she goes. A dazzling combination of a meticulously planned, cleverly cultivated image, trendsetting music as well as sharp wit – Stefani Germanotta a.k.a Lady Gaga in a very short span of time has managed a global fan base of millions while pop culture to a different plane. Renowned for her off the track music and for eccentric dressing, this talented singer has broken all barriers between pop singers and their audiences and has attained cult status among her hardcore loyalists. Named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the world, the girl who learnt to play the piano at the age of four has become a raging global phenomena, with more than 7 million Twitter followers, nearly 22 million fans on Facebook not to mention her multiplatinum album sales and sold out tours.
What mesmerizes everybody about Lady Gaga is the sheer scope of her. She is not your mere run-of-the-mill, flash in the pan, superstar – She is a complete act, a trendsetting diva, a symbol, a movement, all these aspects culminating into a perfect brand. It is no wonder Madame Tussaud has decided to dedicate eight wax figures, each costing a zillion, to commemorate this lady’s stupendous achievements.
So what makes Lady Gaga stand out so uniquely from the rest of the “jungle”. Why has she become so popular? It’s a combination of several factors, her talent, her image as well as a flawless, well thought out, perfectly executed branding strategy
Uniqueness and memorability is the success mantra for any brand and Lady Gaga fits the bill perfectly with her over the top performances, her exotic sartorial sense, her music and her creativity which leave an indelible impression on our minds. She has managed to starkly distinguish from the rest of the artists and have tapped into our minds on a totally different level, by personifying and owning the word “different”. The fact that she remains unapologetic about her histrionics has further accentuated her appeal and allure.
Whether it is in her video, dance routine or her outfit, everything about Lady Gaga tries to convey a subtle message. Her music and performances covers a broad range of burning topics like sexual oppression, religion, relationship – all of which is delivered in a thought provoking manner. It is her continuous attempt to go beyond the obvious that triggers so much interest in everything related to her. She is an internet phenomenon, in the truest sense and she does not hesitate in leveraging the power of this medium to give vent to her ideas- whether it is defending animal rights or standing up for same sex marriage.
All her tantrums would have come to naught, if the actual product that is her music was not impressive. While there are a few harsh critics who finds her music tasteless , there are a plenty of ardent followers who are riveted to her music . She is a multitalented artist who can sing, dance and compose her own music. Her music, her performances sparkles with her characteristic wit, humor and creativity. She has achieved all that she has achieved, through countless hours of toil and dedication.
“I did this the way you’re supposed to. I played every club in NYC and I bombed in every club and then killed in every club and I found myself as an artist. I learned how to survive as an artist, get real, and how to fail and then figure out who I was a singer and performer. And, I worked hard.”
Appearances can be deceiving. Just when you thought she might be just another pop queen diva, with questionable intelligence, she will open her mouth and say something extremely interesting or defend an ideal with pure passion and determination.
She is among very few artists, who have the gumption as well as courage to opt for an over –the- top, in your face, style statement. She is the cynosure of every designer. Her unique style has become her trademark and the characteristic, provocative ensembles that she chooses to don have made her the living embodiment of haute couture. She has spawned an entire apparel and designer label industry and unlike other artists, she is willing to raise the bar by taking continuous risks and not settling for anything mundane.
A Fanatic Fan Base
Lady Gaga garners tremendous buzz and interest among her loyalists. Her fans are downright obsessed about every little thing related to her. She leverages the immense power of the social media to foster her relationship with her fans. She fondly calls them her “little monsters” who in turn calls her “mother monster”. She keeps them fascinated and hooked by constantly posting new pictures and sharing her latest exploits on Facebook and Twitter. By constantly positioning herself as a movement that reflects the people and not just herself, she has become a cult among her followers.
Lady Gaga personifies hard work, talent, creativity all packed into an exciting, thought provoking package. Whether it is by accident or design, the fact is she is individuality personified, who manages to cut through the clutter and rise above the din. That is perhaps why everyone is fast falling prey to the Gaga Effect.