On Saturday November 7, 2009 people tuned into NBC’s Saturday Night Live! to see country superstar Taylor Swift guest host — just not for the reasons you think.
SNL, as Saturday Night Live!, is more commonly known as, is an American comedy serial known for pushing the limits, launching the careers of some pretty famous funny folks and most of all an open space for people to make fun of themselves as well as others all in the name of humor.
“I have wanted to host this show ever since I was a little kid,” Taylor laughed. “I’m so excited and nervous.” Then she launched into her “Monologue Song (La La La).”
That’s what audiences were expecting from Taylor Swift: a delivery on Joe Jonas (her ex-boyfriend who broke up with her on the phone), a skit on Kanye West (who interrupted her VMA speech saying the award should have gone to Beyonce) and a declaration that she was dating Taylor Lautner (who plays Jacob Black in Twilight the films.)
But Taylor never delivered. Rather she took the classy route and poked fun of herself, while making a few mentions along the way.
“You might think I’d bring up [Joe Jonas],” she cooed. “That guy who broke up with me on the phone. But I’m not gonna mention him. (Hey, Joe. I’m doing really well. Tonight I’m hosting SNL.)… La la la… ha ha ha…”
Say what you will, but Taylor Swift took the high road. She could have gone on the show and done what SNL is famous for. The girl does have a lot of ammunition easily available for firing.
It showed maturity, or at least the illusion of it.
Whether it was a conscious decision of her own, or her management, it does not matter. What matters is that Taylor Swift’s ‘brand’ is still intact and still what it once was: sweet, kind, honest and true.
Too often, people in the public eye, and outside of it, get mixed up in sticky situations of all kinds, shapes and forms. This causes them to just air their dirty laundry in public. Not very smart.
It can be harmful to your reputation and, most of all people, make those around you question who you are and what you are really about.
Nothing is more important that your brand image. It defines how people and audiences see you.
Take Disney, for example: Do you know that without proper licensing from Disney you cannot, by any means, use their characters or the LIKENESS of their characters without their permission? Seriously.
Pre-schools, including one in my hometown of Miami Lakes, have been fined or given court orders to change their windows facing the streets for using images, or the likeness, of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and other Disney characters.
Disney likes to have complete, total and utter control of their brand. It is how they control what they want people to see them as. Mickey Mouse is never going to be some second-rate painted mouse on a shop window. Nor is Mickey Mouse ever going to be plastered in his exact likeness somewhere other than a Disney-approved venue.
This adds a crazy amount of value (monetary and otherwise) to the Disney name, believe it or not, because it means that a) Mickey Mouse will always be ‘himself’ and b) anywhere with the mark of the Mouse, is Mouse-approved and synonymous with all that is the Disney brand: magic, fun, family, dreams etc.
This is what Taylor Swift did … for herself. It’s a different beast, but the same clothing.
“If you’re wondering if I might be dating that werewolf from ‘Twilight,’ I’m not gonna talk about that,” Taylor sang before she playfully waved, kissed and mouthed the words “Hi Taylor” to the camera.
It’s pure brand control.
So sure, Taylor Swift sang about her issues, but she did it tastefully and absolutely true to her brand of ‘Taylor Swift:’
- Singing with her guitar
- Exaggerated motions, very much alike her live performances
- Making fun of the fact that she always wears glitter and sparkly dresses … and she was wearing one on SNL
- Admitting that if she has an ‘issue’ or something to say, she’ll write a song about it…and she did…she sang it on SNL
What do you think?
- Is Taylor on the mark? Yes or no?
- How does her brand compare to others and those who came before her like Britney Spears, Christine Aguilera or Jessica Simpson?
- What about others her own age who are also in the limelight and whose every move is followed by the press, such as Harry Potter’s Emma Watson?
Little Pink Bookâ€™s Rule of PR #28:
You are your brand; control it.
You can see Taylor’s SNL performance below:-
If you do not live in the United States, this version of the video is still available on YouTube (be warned it might get pulled by NBC Universal, they are infamous for that…just like Disney):-
Sasha Muradali runs the â€˜Little Pink Bookâ€™ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (â€™07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(â€™08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima or get a copy of the â€˜Little Pink Bookâ€™ delivered to your Kindle.