Is Scandal Good?

No, I am not talking about the ABC’s TV show, Scandal, starring the gorgeous Kerry Washington.

Upon seeing Spotify’s name tarnished by the “Shake it Off” singer, Taylor Swift, who yanked her single off the music streaming service only to have her YouTube views double afterwards. I wondered if this scandal was spun into a marketing ploy.

Spotify vs. Swift

To educate those in the dark about this subject matter, safe to say Swift was not a happy camper about letting her music be heard for free. In an exclusive (we should only be so lucky to have some one-on-one time with Taylor) interview with Yahoo, she said:

“The landscape of the music industry itself is changing so quickly, that everything new, like Spotify, all feels to me a bit like a grand experiment. And I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music. And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.”

CEO/Founder of Spotify, Daniel Ek, supported Swift’s belief that “Music is art, art has real value, and artists deserve to be paid for it.” He revealed a figure of $2 billion paid to the music industry (since 2009) in order to stream artists’ songs on the service.

According to Mashable, within the week of the Spotify-Swift spat, her YouTube and Vevo streams (for her official videos and user-generated content) has soared from approximately 12.5 million daily views to almost 24 million daily views.

That is nearly double the views. There was a 120% increase in views for the single “Shake it Off”

Enough with the figures, here’s a graph.

Graph for TS

Basically, Swift continued her strut and sold two million copies of 1989 in only three weeks. And by the end of her debut week, the album was the “first and only album released in 2014 to earn platinum status.”

“It was the biggest sales week since 2002’s The Eminem Show.”

Taking a break from Taylor Swift, I want to take the opportunity to discuss Burger King’s “Whopper Freakout” Campaign (which many could initially interpret as a scandal to the chain’s loyal customers) and Urban Outfitters’ frequent scandals of offensive designs.

Burger King’s “Whopper Freakout”

The advertising agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CPB) came up with the prank. All those Burger King lovers will agree when I say: Don’t mess with the Whopper.

Americans love the Whopper. So, when CPB decided to permanently remove the option off the BK menu for a day in a Las Vegas Burger King outlet. The agency videoed the peoples’ reactions of BK employees (actors at the time of the experiment) letting consumers know the Whopper was no longer available.

What happened? People freaked out and there was a lot of Internet traffic. There were 1.3 million YouTube views (on a 8-minute video) and no number to share the word of mouth coverage.

In the eyes of the BK lovers, this prank was definitely quite the scandal and worked in BK’s favor.

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters has pulled more than the usual share of scandals to think the hipster chain was a goner. But, the chain seems to be doing great.

No matter that they designed a V-neck sporting the words “Eat Less”, suggesting a “pro-anorexia stand” according to One Tree Hill star, Sophia Bush.

No matter that they designed a shirt covering both the front and back with the word “Depression”.

No matter that they designed a bloodstained Kent State University sweatshirt of the 1970 massacre.

UB Dumb people

No matter that these offensive, awful designs have been approved and folded onto shelves more than once.

According to TIME Magazine, Urban Outfitters Inc. reported quarterly sales of $811 million.

When you take a step back and think of all the scandals, you have to question whether any publicity is good publicity. Either way, there is always more Internet traffic, more word-of-mouth, more awareness. And for some, even more money.

Go to bed now,



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