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Old 03-03-2002, 12:49 PM   #21
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It's really not that complicated. Target payed U2 13 million dollars to shill for them. U2 are doing advertisements for Target and Best Buy. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either living in serious denial or doesn't understand how advertising works. Releasing a DVD that's only available in ONE store chain for two weeks is an advertisement for that store. That particular chain (Best Buy wasn't it?)paid millions of dollars to U2 to get them to do that. I have friends who own and work for independent record shops and this is the sort of thing that marginalizes them and puts them out of business. Not that U2 cares. They can't afford to pay them enough to make them care.
Next U2 released an album of rarities that was only available at Target and received 13 million dollars in return. Target, a store found in only one country, (the U.S.) and only in certain regions of that one country. That's called doing ad work for Target. This is not debatable. U2 could have released 7 through Propaganda if they wanted the real fans to get it. They could have released it worldwide if they wanted casual and new fans to hear it. But it had nothing to do with the music and everything to do with 13 million dollars.
Each of us can make up our own minds as to whether U2 becoming corporate shills after holding out for so many years is a good or bad thing. I think it sucks. I'm sure all of you are ecstatic. After all Bono did it and he's a saint, right?
I heard Bono's going to be doing adverts for a sunglasses company next. There's going to be a "Bono" line of shades. How wonderful. Is there any doubt that a McDonalds commercial is on its way?

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Old 03-03-2002, 12:55 PM   #22
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Intially I cringed.
Then I shrugged my shoulders and smiled cuz it was a clever add.
Then I read some of the responses from the more astute and elequent minds here and have since came away enlightened.

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Old 03-03-2002, 03:20 PM   #23
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I liked the commercial and as I've stated before, I dont care about the sell out thing. They can have a U2 blimp for all I care as long as they fricking have tours like Elevation and albums like Achtung Baby and ATYCLB every 2-4 years, I really wouldnt care if they were on the KMART sign. Big f*cking deal. What does it really mean in terms of great music and great concerts? Isnt that why we like U2? Or are we still in the 80s thinking they somehow rock against the establishment? Time for a reality check.
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Old 03-03-2002, 03:22 PM   #24
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Originally posted by U2LA:
I liked the commercial and as I've stated before, I dont care about the sell out thing. They can have a U2 blimp for all I care as long as they fricking have tours like Elevation and albums like Achtung Baby and ATYCLB every 2-4 years, I really wouldnt care if they were on the KMART sign. Big f*cking deal. What does it really mean in terms of great music and great concerts? Isnt that why we like U2? Or are we still in the 80s thinking they somehow rock against the establishment? Time for a reality check.
I feel exactly the same!
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Old 03-03-2002, 04:46 PM   #25
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"Welcome to McDonalds. Would you like to BONO-size your value meal today sir for only $.39"
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Old 03-03-2002, 05:25 PM   #26
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Originally posted by z edge:
"Welcome to McDonalds. Would you like to BONO-size your value meal today sir for only $.39"
Mmmmm....Bono-sized meals!
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Old 03-03-2002, 05:57 PM   #27
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Originally posted by Matthew_Page2000:
U2 are doing advertisements for Target and Best Buy. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either living in serious denial or doesn't understand how advertising works. Releasing a DVD that's only available in ONE store chain for two weeks is an advertisement for that store. That particular chain (Best Buy wasn't it?)paid millions of dollars to U2 to get them to do that. I have friends who own and work for independent record shops and this is the sort of thing that marginalizes them and puts them out of business.

Next U2 released an album of rarities that was only available at Target and received 13 million dollars in return. Target, a store found in only one country, (the U.S.) and only in certain regions of that one country. That's called doing ad work for Target. This is not debatable. U2 could have released 7 through Propaganda if they wanted the real fans to get it. They could have released it worldwide if they wanted casual and new fans to hear it. But it had nothing to do with the music and everything to do with 13 million dollars.

Each of us can make up our own minds as to whether U2 becoming corporate shills after holding out for so many years is a good or bad thing. I think it sucks. I'm sure all of you are ecstatic. After all Bono did it and he's a saint, right?

One thing you are forgetting is that non-U.S. fans HAVE the songs on "7" already. This is because CD singles with those songs were released in countries around the world. In another topic I posted, I referenced an article talking about the demise of the single - at least in the U.S. It's this demise of the single that prevented U.S. audiences from hearing these gems (unless you were a die-hard). "7" gave U.S. audiences the opportunity to hear those songs - and at an affordable price (no spending $10 per each imported CD single).

Seeing as how the tracks on "7" were b-sides and remixes, would it even be worth releasing this item to every store? Some stores wouldn't even bother having "7" as it wasn't a new album. And, given the cheap price (these days, the CD singles you can find are $5 and up), many stores might not carry it as they couldn't make a profit. These "little Joe's" that everyone discusses as the ones who are really losing out are the very people that drive costs up - because these stores aren't big enough to diversify. These small stores must charge more to make $$. Something like "7" just wouldn't be profitable.

Could U2 have thrown "7" in with Propaganda? Sure - but again, non-U.S. fans already had access to these songs. While U.S. fans would have loved the free CD, non-U.S. fans would have complained about getting a CD of tracks that they already bought on the CD singles.

In other words, while there clearly was some promotional hand-shaking between U2 and Target, I thought it was well-done. Small stores couldn't afford to sell the CD this cheaply. Some stores might not carry it as it wasn't a new album. Plus, U2 might not have wanted to give the impression that this was a new album (like Jennifer Lopez's new remixed album). By making this deal, U2 was able to release those great b-sides to U.S. fans without charging them a fortune or causing a lot of "hoopla." In exchange, Target did a bit of promotion for the album. As I wrote above, I have seen MANY U2 ads over the years - including during the "glorified" 80's. I see no difference between the hand-shaking marketing done in the 80's ("oh look, there's a U2 ad in Rolling Stone magazine - right after the U2 article!") vs. U2's activity now.

As for the Best Buy promotion - perhaps that was a bit over the top. However, this was necessary and was a marketing ploy. The rather horrid sales of the "PopMart" videotape is what caused the Interscope/U2 marketing team to come up with this idea. By making the "Elevation" DVD more exclusive for those first two weeks, demand increased - so much so that many Best Buy stores ran out of the DVD! First week sales of the DVD topped 20,000 copies! Typically, the #1 selling DVD is around 5-10,000 copies.

Now, did this partnership with Best Buy hurt other businesses? Maybe just a bit at first, but once the DVD became available, even complaining businesses were quick to purchase it. Why? Because the video became a "hot" item - and those businesses wanted to cash in on it as well.

I do not view these marketing actions naively. There's no "Bono did it so it must be good because Bono is a saint" attitude here. Not everything U2 does is brilliant. However, I feel that it's many of you who are being naive. Marketing has changed since those "glorified" 80's. If U2 or any other artist were to reject too many marketing ploys, they would fail to sell anything. While U2, the band, has more than enough $$, there is also U2 the business, which employs many people. If that business fails to sell, it hurts far more than just U2 the band.

Lastly, these type of marketing strategies also gives U2 exposure. Many times I hear people say how they weren't even aware that a certain artist had a new album, single or video released! This is because the marketing efforts for that artists failed. U2's current marketing has allowed them to remain on people's minds since September 2000. U2 changed with the times - and I think, we as fans, must as well.

Oh, and as for Bono promoting sunglasses - Larry did a Harley ad in the 80's. Once again, so much for your "glorifed" notions of the "old, respected" U2. That said - if U2 were to start doing KFC or Chili's commercials, I would change my stance and agree with many of you as that would be a classic example of "selling out." It is one thing to make efforts to promote one's music. It's another to sing about ribs or a cola product.
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Old 03-03-2002, 08:41 PM   #28
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Originally posted by MBH:
I must ask you this, though: if U2 were to release the U27 cd to every store wouldn't that be even worse than the exclusive deal b/c it would enable them to rake in even more money?
awesome post doctorwho!

MBH, no disrespect but how is it considered bad if a band's decision is profitable? You can't deny the fact that if not for the mighty buck there would cease to be a music industry. It's a business--how you handle that business is another story. I think U2 is handling it nicely, they are doing what they do best--pushing the boundary without crossing it. I love that about U2. The music is selling itself here.

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Old 03-04-2002, 01:05 AM   #29
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sneh.

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Old 03-04-2002, 02:12 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Matthew_Page2000:
It's really not that complicated. Target payed U2 13 million dollars to shill for them. U2 are doing advertisements for Target and Best Buy. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either living in serious denial or doesn't understand how advertising works. Releasing a DVD that's only available in ONE store chain for two weeks is an advertisement for that store. That particular chain (Best Buy wasn't it?)paid millions of dollars to U2 to get them to do that. I have friends who own and work for independent record shops and this is the sort of thing that marginalizes them and puts them out of business. Not that U2 cares. They can't afford to pay them enough to make them care.
Next U2 released an album of rarities that was only available at Target and received 13 million dollars in return. Target, a store found in only one country, (the U.S.) and only in certain regions of that one country. That's called doing ad work for Target. This is not debatable. U2 could have released 7 through Propaganda if they wanted the real fans to get it. They could have released it worldwide if they wanted casual and new fans to hear it. But it had nothing to do with the music and everything to do with 13 million dollars.
Each of us can make up our own minds as to whether U2 becoming corporate shills after holding out for so many years is a good or bad thing. I think it sucks. I'm sure all of you are ecstatic. After all Bono did it and he's a saint, right?
I heard Bono's going to be doing adverts for a sunglasses company next. There's going to be a "Bono" line of shades. How wonderful. Is there any doubt that a McDonalds commercial is on its way?

MAP
It pains me to say it, but, you're right. You make some keen points and it bugs the shit out of me. I mean, U2 is the BBITW and they do not need to make any exclusive deals to sell their products.

Look, some advertising and promotion of their music is fine and may help knock off the crap that is out there on the radio. However, U2 sell themselves. Why did they do this(Target, Best Buy)?

I don't know much about the sunglass promotion and I don't know if I want to. I am desperate to ask these questions to the band members since no one in the media has the balls too.

I must ask you this, though: if U2 were to release the U27 cd to every store wouldn't that be even worse than the exclusive deal b/c it would enable them to rake in even more money? The Target and Best Buy deal did allow fans to purchase a CD and DVD at a reasonable price whereas if they released it everywhere they could have charged more money and would have looked even more money hungry. U2 DID NOT get paid directly for these deals. The money that you refer to was put toward advertising which in turn encouraged sales which made them money(I just wanted to clear that up; I realize that either way it has to do with $) These associations also make Bono in particular, look like a hypocrite. How can you criticize corporations and commercialism/materialism and then embrace it? They probably should've offered it for free online or through Propaganda like you said(a la Pearl Jam).

The bottom line for me is the music. If the music is good, then that is what matters most. I am an avid fan and well always support them. However, I disagree with some of their recent motives. It is understandable to promote yourself for the betterment of Rock-N-Roll and music in general(despite these dubious corporate tie-ins, their music still does come from the heart). But they have over-exposed themselves and need to lay low for awhile. I am also confident that U2 will learn from these mistakes as they usually do(RAH, POP, etc...)

You seem like these recent moves have pushed you away from the band. Are you and will you continue to be a fan if U2 continue to make corporate associations? I applaud you for having the nerve to express an opnion and make a statement that I am sure will be met with anger and dissention on this site.

Look forward to your reply.
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Old 03-04-2002, 02:41 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by Matthew_Page2000:
It's really not that complicated. Target payed U2 13 million dollars to shill for them. U2 are doing advertisements for Target and Best Buy. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either living in serious denial or doesn't understand how advertising works. Releasing a DVD that's only available in ONE store chain for two weeks is an advertisement for that store. That particular chain (Best Buy wasn't it?)paid millions of dollars to U2 to get them to do that. I have friends who own and work for independent record shops and this is the sort of thing that marginalizes them and puts them out of business. Not that U2 cares. They can't afford to pay them enough to make them care.
Next U2 released an album of rarities that was only available at Target and received 13 million dollars in return. Target, a store found in only one country, (the U.S.) and only in certain regions of that one country. That's called doing ad work for Target. This is not debatable. U2 could have released 7 through Propaganda if they wanted the real fans to get it. They could have released it worldwide if they wanted casual and new fans to hear it. But it had nothing to do with the music and everything to do with 13 million dollars.
Each of us can make up our own minds as to whether U2 becoming corporate shills after holding out for so many years is a good or bad thing. I think it sucks. I'm sure all of you are ecstatic. After all Bono did it and he's a saint, right?
I heard Bono's going to be doing adverts for a sunglasses company next. There's going to be a "Bono" line of shades. How wonderful. Is there any doubt that a McDonalds commercial is on its way?

MAP
One other thing which you failed to point out: the potential sunglass promotion that Bono may partake in HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH U2'S MUSIC. Bono is lending his name to the sunglass company. U2 IS NOT using their music to sell a product(like Sting and Jagaur or The Stones and Microsoft).

This actually is a smart business decision.

However, I do agree with you that it is a bit shady(no pun intended) and I do not like this
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Old 03-04-2002, 12:21 PM   #32
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Originally posted by Achtung_Bebe:
awesome post doctorwho!

MBH, no disrespect but how is it considered bad if a band's decision is profitable? You can't deny the fact that if not for the mighty buck there would cease to be a music industry. It's a business--how you handle that business is another story. I think U2 is handling it nicely, they are doing what they do best--pushing the boundary without crossing it. I love that about U2. The music is selling itself here.
I think they have crossed the line with some of these deals and money is ruining the music industry b/c record execs. now more than ever sign people generally based on SALES not TALENT. I respect U2's motives over the past year and a half: they do not like what is going on in the biz, they realize that most of the work out there is being done by someone other than the people who the public see's and they have tried to change that by exposing themselves and others(PJ Harvery, Stereophonics) and the music more than ever b/c it is necessary(I wish Pearl Jam and REM would follow; and no, that would not be selling out, it would be providing people with great, talented music and may set the industy on its heels again just as it did in the early 90's).

How can U2 criticize commercialism/materialism/consumerism as U2 has and then partake in it? These big corporations contribute to the problem of third world nations that Bono is supporting? Bono has been quite hypocritical lately.

The point is, U2 has over-exposed themselves and have steadily been walking that fine line of integrity lately....it is time to get out of the US for awhile(a summer '03 return to the stadiums would be fine + a GHits package this Christmas would also be good).
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Old 03-04-2002, 12:34 PM   #33
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great post, doctorwho.
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Old 03-04-2002, 01:38 PM   #34
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MBH
I still love U2's music. I haven't moved "away from" the band because I've never been naive enough to think U2 were saints. Shilling for corporations is just the latest distastefull step U2 have taken over the past five years. It's bad, but not nearly as bad as charging $130 dollars for Gold Circle seats. (I don't give a flying crap that it's market value--it's still a rip off.) Bottom line is that the music is still good so I'll keep listening.

U2LA,
I respect what you're saying and you've proven over and over again that you're a real fan but I think you're being daft. U2 themselves have admitted that it's distasteful for them when artists use their art to sell product. Didn't Bono say something about inviting fans to a show and then trying to sell them tupperware?

DoctorWho,
GLORIFIED 80's? I've been a fan since 1983 but my favorite era is AB/ZooTv.

The bottom line for me is that U2 aren't just another band. Their fans respond to them on a profoundly emotional level. That's not the case with a great band like the Stones. The Stones can get away with all sorts of crassness and money-grubbing. It's different with U2 and it pisses some of us off. Obviously most of you are fine with it. Each of us have different tolerance levels because our relationship with the music is personal.

I think a lot of U2's financial decisions lately have sucked. Why does it bother all of you so much when it's just my opinion?

MAP
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Old 03-04-2002, 10:47 PM   #35
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I dunno. You don't see Radiohead stooping to this sort of shilling. I'm all for U2 advertising themselves. I don't mind the appearances on Leno, Letterman, Farmclub, Superbowl, SNL, TRL etc. They didn't have to do that sort of thing in the 80's or early 90's but Doc is right, in that times have changed. That doesn't mean that U2 have to do commercials for corporations.

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Old 03-05-2002, 02:13 AM   #36
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Originally posted by Matthew_Page2000:
DoctorWho,
GLORIFIED 80's? I've been a fan since 1983 but my favorite era is AB/ZooTv.


MAP[/B]

I'm not glorifying U2's 80's music - rather, I'm rephrasing this "holier than thou" view that people had of U2 during that time. So many people thought that U2 had all these morals and ethics - that they were "saints." But, in truth, U2 were a business from the start. One doesn't go about becoming the biggest and/or best band in the world without being extremely ambitious.

U2 knew that to succeed, they had to market themselves. They learned how to market in the 80's and they eventually succeeded - but the times then were different. Marketing in 2002 is vastly different from what was acceptable 15 year ago and U2 must change with the times if they wish to have continued success.

In other words, U2 were never so "pure and righteous" to reject all notions of marketing and promotion. And *I* am O.K. with this because I realize that one must do promotion to succeed. However, in today's world, the slightly more subtle 80's promotion for music simply wouldn't work - hence U2 had to change with the times. That said, U2 aren't doing anything different (in terms of promoting themselves) than they did in the 80's. U2 promoted then, U2 promote now. It's just that now U2's promotion is more visible. And sadly, that's what's required in 2002 - more blatant promotion.
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Old 03-05-2002, 09:41 AM   #37
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Originally posted by Matthew_Page2000:
That doesn't mean that U2 have to do commercials for corporations.
1. The commercial in question is a Target ad.
2. The ad features footage from a U2 DVD...a product which is carried by said store.
3. U2 has not done any special promotion...no soundbytes from Bono saying "Buy our DVD at Target"..no additional footage by the band for the specific ad.
4. Therefore, to call this "U2 doing" the commercial for anyone is a huge stretch by any measure.

Conclusion: Shockingly enough, we live in a free market capitalistic society in which businesses are prone to promote products that they think the public will buy. A DVD is a product. A CD is a product. If the seller of a product chooses to attempt to lure buyers to buy said product from their particular outlet rather than an alternative source, why does this reflect poorly on the manufacturer of the product? I'm sorry, but I don't follow the logic.

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Old 03-05-2002, 11:18 AM   #38
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Originally posted by Matthew_Page2000:
I dunno. You don't see Radiohead stooping to this sort of shilling. I'm all for U2 advertising themselves. I don't mind the appearances on Leno, Letterman, Farmclub, Superbowl, SNL, TRL etc. They didn't have to do that sort of thing in the 80's or early 90's but Doc is right, in that times have changed. That doesn't mean that U2 have to do commercials for corporations.

MAP
I think it was more of the corperation advertising what they sell from what I think. They just played a clip from the DVD, it's not like U2 made a commercial for them. Did U2 want them to advertise it during the Grammys? Probably, even though I'm sure the Grammys themselves are enough of an advertisement for ATYCLB. I don't think it's much different than a Tower records commercial.

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