Does Lady Gaga Have a Equity Stake in Polaroid?
By John Mitchell Posted Mar 17th 2010 12:23PM
Much has been made of the seemingly rampant product placement in Lady Gaga's new music video, 'Telephone,' and according to the New York Post, all that blatant branding was as purposeful as it seemed.
Of the 10 brands that appear throughout the much-discussed video, Polaroid is perhaps the most prominent. In January, Polaroid received more press than it has in years when it announced that it had entered into an unconventional partnership with the music superstar. Gaga was to be the brand's "creative director and inventor of specialty products," a source told the Post. The deal allegedly gave Gaga an equity stake in the company, allowing her to participate "in the future of the company in a meaningful way."
For its part, Polaroid has refused to comment on the specifics of Gaga's deal. However, sources close to the company say that her deal likely gives her more than a simple cut of the revenue generated by Gaga-branded products.
Polaroid reportedly hopes Gaga can help revive its brand and launch it as a global name in digital photography. The company has stated that Gaga's product line could constitute as much as 30 percent of its business in the near future. Her line is expected to launch later this year.
Other brands that that are featured prominently in 'Telephone' include Heartbeats headphones and Virgin Mobile. Gaga has existing marketing deals with both companies: The headphones were a collaboration between Gaga and Dr. Dre, and Virgin Mobile is the sponsor of her wildly successful Monster Ball tour, which recently added 31 US arena dates.
If Gaga is an equity stake holder in Polaroid, her deal is likely similar to the one struck between Sarah Jessica Parker and Halston. According to BlackBook, Parker was brought on board in an active design role to reinvigorate the design house. She is known to sport the brand often, and Halston dresses are featured prominently in the upcoming sequel to 'Sex and the City.'
"Brands that step up to the plate and pay -- and with Lady Gaga probably had to pay well -- have a bigger opportunity for people to pay attention," Steve Yanovsky, a music and emerging media consultant at GroupM's Mindshare media division, told the Post.
People certainly are paying attention now. Since debuting late last week, 'Telephone,' which also features Beyonce, has racked up nearly 20 million views on YouTube. Given that even the highest rated network television shows are hard-pressed to in pull 20 million viewers these days, collaborating with Gaga represents a unique opportunity at mass exposure for any brand.
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