Was the deal between Apple and U2 a clever marketing ploy?

U2’s new album, ‘Songs of Innocence’, automatically popped up in the iTunes libraries of 500 million users. If we analyze the given information we have and consider the backlash of this act – safe to say it worked out well for the band.

Why choose U2?

Given that the band is irrelevant compared to modern artists such as Ariana Grande, why was this band chosen to support the release of new Apple products? (iPhone 6 and the Apple watch)

Although the band may lack relevancy in today’s music industry, it carried a huge presence in the earlier days. The band’s well-established credit and “celebrity power” were key factors in this deal.

According to a New York Times article, U2 and Apple have a history! That too, going back to at least a decade when Apple introduced a U2-themed iPod. (This is ridiculous, really) In brokering this deal though, this association definitely saves Apple time and money in forming new relationships.

Does the music still hold the same level of value?

By this question, I mean does the idea of a music album being sold for free take away from the value of the music? After all, people do equate price with quality. There is a certain feeling of accomplishment when you purchase an item – a feeling of glory.

Why did Apple buy the U2 album?

Honestly, I believe Apple probably thought it was the best deal it could get. There is absolutely no connection between U2 and the new products, but U2 brings “celebrity power” and keeps Apple relevant to the music industry.

To defend Apple, buying the album of a well-renowned band for 100 million dollars and distributing it to 500 million users does sound like a sweet deal. However, U2 may have received the only ‘win’ in this deal.

Is Apple breaching our privacy?

My mother always says to me: “Monique, nothing is private on the internet. Once it’s on there, it stays there forever.” The Internet is an arena. If you don’t play well in it, you will lose. Keeping this in mind, I have always been cautious when posting content. However, I lived in this illusion that I have complete control over my iPhone, now realizing that I have none.

Placing something directly into a consumer’s account warrants a concern for privacy. The Cloud software provides Apple with access to all personal information and frankly, that is terrifying. I suddenly imagine a world with Big Brother, no joke.

How is social media reacting to this?

People are furious. Furious could even be an understatement. People are outraged that iTunes has the audacity to suggest the genre of music they should be listening to. It doesn’t stop there though.

According to a tweet, U2 has always been “cheap, annoying, and awful”.

Another tweet says, “How do I delete all of these brutal #U2 songs?”

How did iTunes react?

Due to all the negative social media reaction, Apple has had to provide a tool to remove the free album from customers’ accounts. (That’s embarrassing)

All in all, the light doesn’t seem to be shining so brightly on Apple. Nevertheless, Apple has loyal customers and it is unlikely that it will be negatively impacted from this deal.

Meanwhile, U2 should enjoy the scandal while it lasts, it may do the band some good.

Go to bed now,



“Find 5 influencers who are well-educated in the travel category”

A colleague assigned me this task on my eighth week at my summer internship. You would think after all that time; I would be able to spit out five names in the span of five seconds. I couldn’t.

What is the context?

On the summer of 2014, I worked as a social analyst intern at the advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather, in Singapore. While there, I not only discovered the use of jargon for ‘influencer’, but also the entire process that comes with selecting one to represent your brand or support your campaign. This post aims to collect these glorious realizations with some free commentary and advice (you’re welcome) in a span of five minutes (not seconds, please).

What is an influencer?

You. An influencer is not only a leader, but also a human being. Your family and friends do affect your thoughts and emotions, and as a result, do affect your decisions and actions. These decisions could lead you to either buy or reject a product or service. In the given context, influencers primarily referred to bloggers, especially because of their effectiveness in the Singapore market and authenticity to convey the message.

What was the given task? “Find five influencers who are well-educated in the travel category”

Since I was working in the social media department, my colleague expected me to find five influencers that had a high social media presence across all channels. However, this proved to be a difficult task. It wasn’t as simple as scrolling through my database and selecting an influencer in that category. (My database was excellently organized with all relevant information pertinent to influencers: category, Facebook followers, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, Twitter following, Tweets, Instagram followers, Instagram following, Instagram posts, email addresses, agencies, and so forth)

What if one influencer had a high following on Twitter but was inconsistent with postings on other channels? Would he or she still be applicable? (Fun fact: Twitter, more so than Facebook, is proving to be more readily used to deliver messages to their fans.)

Or, what if this influencer had a medium reach across all channels?

Would you pick the influencer with high reach in one channel, verses another influencer with medium reach across all channels?

What is “reach” referring to?

The term, “reach,” refers to the ability for us to use the influencer’s user-base on these social media channels to drive awareness to our brand. Therefore, this judgment of high, medium, or low reach can only be made based on comparisons to the other candidates who are still in the running (to becoming America’s Next Top Model – it sounded sophisticated when I was writing that sentence).

What other factors do you need to consider?

The personality. How do others perceive them? Why do their fans love them?

  1. For example, an influencer may have medium reach, but have established a name for themselves. Given the context of a campaign or message behind a brand, he or she could prove to be the right influencer to drive awareness.
  2. The other go-to points to identify the right influencer is to research their expertise and credibility. Can this influencer drive the right conversations through their user-base? Can this influencer accurately execute your message?

I haven’t even finished all the areas that needed to be explored, but a goal is a goal. And whether five minutes may or may not be coming up, my fingers are tired.

I provided 15 names.

Go to bed now,