By now I think everyone has heard of Lady Gaga.
You know, she’s the scantily-clad and shock-inducing musician that’s been taking the pop world by storm. I think many Christians would probably find her a little frightening and off-putting, and I think for many good reasons.
But I actually think there’s several powerful lessons we can learn from her career and methodology.
Walk with me for a second…
Things She Knows How To Do:
1. Leverage the Power of Video
Her video “Bad Romance” is the most viewed video of all time on YouTube.
This shouldn’t necessarily surprise us. But I think it’s interesting that the most viewed video before that was “Evolution of Dance” which had held the spot for several years. All of a sudden she hits the scene, and in what seemed like a matter of months she raced and took the crowning top spot. People clearly like watching videos online.
From what I’ve read, these are days in which the music industry is quite hesitant to invest in full-scale music videos for their artists. But when it comes to Lady Gaga, every single one is still a theatrical affair.
2. Build a Connection with her Audience
In interviews, she refers to her fans as “little monsters.” Apparently sometime ago in a concert, some of her fans began making, what can only be described as a snarling-tiger-claw-monster-fist with their hands. Instead of pumping their fists into the air or making the “horn” symbol (or whatever that is), they would make this other symbol. She noticed this, and began to do it back to them. This has become a symbol that they share together. A way to send their love without saying words.
This reminds me what I’ve read about the Grateful Dead band. They didn’t care if people made copies of their cds, because what really mattered was attending a live concert. They had built an incredible audience by building an you-had-to-be-there experience . There were the t-shirts and dancing and…*cough* *cough* whatever else.
The fans, and the Grateful Dead knew that what mattered was seeing them live. This engendered an incredible amount of loyalty among their fans.
3. Create a Space of Acceptance.
In each interview that she gives she talks about wanting to be a role model to the “freaks.” That’s why she dresses the way that she does, because she wants people to feel good about expressing themselves and being who they are. As a result, she has helped to create a “space of acceptance.” People at her concerts will dress up now in crazy ways, because she has made it a safe place to do so.
The genius of Lady Gage is that she has learned to tap into certain core values that a huge amount of fans are attracted to. People want to feel a sense of belonging, connection, and acceptance.
So here’s my question: I wonder what we can do in our churches, web properties, and actual lives to connect with people on this level? I wonder what we can do to build these kinds of connections and exemplify generous avenues of acceptance? I’m not sure. But I know that it’s something we need to think about. After all, our motivation to do so is much more important then just money, entertainment, and fame. Or at least it should be.
What do you think?