LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – When Chris Brown dyed his hair blonde and gave Twitter fans a picture of his new blonde hairdo this weekend, Brown became the third celebrity in two weeks to use their abrupt hair change, whether consciously or accidentally, as a marketing tool for a new project. Chris Brown’s hair hasn’t change since his notable encounter with Rihanna two years ago. But with Brown set to drop his most anticipated album in three years, did Brown make the blonde hair change as a marketing tool to push pre-album publicity?
Decades ago, Madonna perfected the marketing machine of â€śreinvention â€ś in which she would, sometimes dramatically, change her look month to month. Most of the times, Madonna’s changes were not just random but designed to push a new music video or release of a single.
Madonna and other celebrities that embraced the changing-look marketing mechanisms of the 1980s, however, didn’t have social networking sites at their disposition. So when you saw the change, it seemed more orchestrated. We understood what the celebrities were up to. For example, when Madonna did one of her boldest hair changes for the music video â€śRainâ€ť, fans didn’t really learn of the transformation until the video appeared on MTV and similar broadcasters. Fans knew what she was doing and it worked well. The buzz was overwhelming and the music video did great business.
Now with the advent of social networking sites, celebrities are now able to take the model perfected by Madonna and blur its deployment, making us think that they just happen to change their appearance as their movie hits theaters, or their album hits the web. Justin Bieber’s hair change was first revealed on Twitter. And while it may have seen as simply a totally random tweet like any other, the buzz certainly struck the same week as his movie hit theaters.
So is Brown’s change totally random, or consciously orchestrated to focus publicity back onto him in advance of his upcoming album? We may never know. But as Madonna proved in 1993, transformations don’t just work; they also excite fans greatly. The music video for Rain was so well received that it became one of the most talked about music videos of the year. It won two MTV Video Music Awards for Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography that year and went on to be named to Slant Magazine’s “100 Greatest Music Videos”.