Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Devastation 2010: The Year Bad Publicity Equaled Great Branding

The year is coming to an end and we are all anticipating the awesome future that 2011 holds, but 2010 was a year that I would describe as "tone setting." This was the year of branding and brands who seek to advance should really analyze some of the top brands of 2010 to infuse an IMC plan that will generate revenue for their product or services. However, I recall some brands that made me raise an eyebrow and even some that I am still trying to discover how they're successful.

2010 was the year of bad publicity. The technique of creating pity to help with the resurfacing of brands was a move that many "dead" brands used to bounce back. This became evident through the Tiger Woods scandal, the Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj rap beef and Fiji closing one of it's plants.

The Tiger Woods scandal was negative, but for months he was in the public eye. Who was his mistresses? What did he have to say for himself? Why did he cheat on his wife? The killer of Tiger Wood's image was his press conference he gave to formally apologizing for his actions which turned into being last stab to the heart for his image. Effect PR would've either had Tiger address the public where he address the issue without addressing the issue. He should have focused on his next career moves and how he has grown from what I call "real life situations." The press conference was a set up for failure and didn't do his brand any justice if he was out to recover his image.Nevertheless, Tiger Woods is still admired and respected and I even seen a few tweets calling him a "pimp." Maybe he listned to a Lil Kim album?

Nicki Minaj vs. Lil Kim has awaken Hip Hop, but has made Lil Kim's relevance in the music world flourish. Years after she dropped her highly anticipated album "THE NAKED TRUTH," Lil Kim resurfaced after Nicki Minaj took lyrical shots at her via one of her songs. This created a frenzy and had media running amuck between the two Femcees. This is bad publicity for women in hip hop who continues to fight for the equal opportunities as men in the rap industry. Serving as two of the most lyrically equipped female Lyricists, Nicki Minaj and Lil Kim "beefing" is damaging the opportunity for women to collectively come together and help hip hop advance.

Nicki Minaj solely is a brand that has helped her break records. Her first week of sales for her debut album PINK FRIDAY was 375,000 copies which made her the 2nd highest selling female in record sales during debut week. This year Nicki Minaj crossed over from an urban brand to a brand that is now mainstream. Her approach to the business shows that she has studied the industry and has a PR/Marketing team that closely works together to create the character the world has learn to love named Nicki Minaj. Although I am not a fan, I must admit that the branding of Nicki Minaj was the brand that has impressed me the most this year. Despite her irritating voice, confusing lyrics and bipolar like songs she is liked by many girls who all embrace the HEAD BARBIE as they sworn in to be her Barbies and Ken Dolls. I think Nicki Minaj's branding technique is dope and I wouldn't be surprised if she drank FIJI water everyday.

FIJI water is one of the most sought after bottled water and it caused a frenzy when it announced the closure of one of it's water plants due to the tax increase of bottled water on the island of Fiji. Being the highest selling bottled water in the United States the response to this closing of the only FIJI water plant caused an uproar. Many scrambled to stores to retrieve the drink and buy what they thought was going to be the last of the crisp, refreshing water they grew to love. The exposure of this shocking act not only help FIJI as a brand become more appreciated, but it helped with sells and making the competition nonexistent. The plant reopened and we still have FIJI, but the relevance of the company only enhanced.

These are brands that used or had bad publicity that increased their relevance in the world. Others include the former R&B boy band member Raz B of B2K who consistently used accusations of sexual encounters with other males to gain media exposure, Antoine Dodson with his "Hide Your Kids Hide Your Wife" song/news story, Kat Stacks who used her sexual encounters with celebrities to build her inconsequential brand and Sydney Starr who also used her encounters with celebrities to claim to fame as the "Hip Hop Tranny."

These brands were short lived and are examples of individuals that does things in efforts to create a brand. The thing is that these brands never last and is an example of how PR/Brand Management needs to grab the reins in 2011 and really get exposure for the talented and essential brands the world has yet to discover. Effective branding should NOT use bad publicity to create a buzz or exposure, but develop an EMP (Effective Marketing Plan) to create a diverse, likeable entity that all can appreciate and admire which will lead to dollars being invested into the brand.

In 2011 the focus for all Publicists, Marketers and Brand Managers should be DIRECTION. Have a clear direction for your brand and ensure that you are ready for when disaster strikes. Bad Publicity can ALWAYS turn into the opportunity to create good publicity. It is your approach that matters. I salute the downfalls in 2010 and learn form them, but 2011 I am ready to direct, enhance and advance!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The B in Branding Stands for Beyonce: Why Sasha Fierce is the Queen of Brands

It is the night of Thanksgiving and I sit full from food and great entertainment. The night is a beautiful one because of Beyonce's premiere of the I AM world tour on ABC. Not only did we get to see awesome wig, funky costumes and moves like no other, but we witnessed an evening of branding that is proof why brands needs more than just a press release.

The ABC special began with Beyonce connecting to her fans and showing her sweet down home spirit then out of nowhere Sasha Fierce emerged. Between Sasha Fierce and Beyonce the brand that Matthew Knowles and Beyonce's branding team has established has crowned Beyonce QUEEN OF BRANDING. Everything that Mrs. Hova touch or do generates her money. This special was viewed by 5.1 million viewers ( and included an evening of us being Bey-dazzzled with all of Beyonce's brands.

The commercials even displayed Sahsah Fierce from her fragrance HEAT, her Loreal lipstick collection as well as her hip yet funny Vizio commercial where she is "ignored." Throughout the broadcast premiere the commercials were infused in our brains with catchy tunes, haut looks as well as products we just have to have in our possession. This was a good marketing ploy for the holiday season and is a good way to have Beyonce brand get more solidified and more profitable.

The highlight of Beyonce's brand is her relationship with Hip Hop Mogul Jay Z. Since the questioning of their relationship, these two have always been "hush hush" about their dealings with on another. Last night seeing Beyonce dance and throw up the ROC sign before Jay Z came on stage to perform with her even got us excited, thus proving how the relationship itself is a brand that is profitable. Slowly but surely they gave us a piece of their relationship making them one of the most powerful couple in Hollywood.

Beyonce is a brand that will never die. Ten years from know she will still have our minds and wow us as she gives us Sasha Fierce with each performance and album she drops. BRANDING: B IS FOR BEYONCE!

Part 1 of Beyonce Thanksgiving Special 2010 I AM WORLD TOUR:


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Is Media the Devil? :Kanye's Twitter Outburst Regarding His Visit to the Today Show

Kanye is pissed.....Again. Kanye has been doing the entertainer's routine of  hitting up the press for his highly anticipated album "BEAUTIFUL DARK TWISTED FANTASY" when he made a routine stop to the Today show which led to a "kanye shrug" moment that Kanye displayed to the social world. Kanye's rant over the Today Show and Matt Matt Lauer's focus on the situation where Kanye indirectly called former President George Bush a racist stirred up the Twitter community this evening. Kanye began his experience with the tweet "I don't mess with Matt Lauer or the Today Show .....and that's a very nice way for me to put it!"

He then carrys on discussing how he tried to correlate his accusations against Bush with his recent accusations of the same context. The issue was how Matt Lauer played the MTV clip from when Kanye verbally assassinated Bush and according to Kanye FORCED HIM TO LOOK AT HIS FACE. Kanye has the right to be upset or feel that media did something that displays foolery or serves as an outlet that one shouldn't trust, but honestly it is something that he has created for his brand himself through his actions over the years.

Looking at the transition of how his brand went from the humble, soulful artist who made music in which we all connected into the "public enemy" in which we was introduce we can see why media approach Mr. West in such a manner. Kanye is prominent for being America's favorite asshole, holding the title of the most outspoken artist in the entertainment field. Media lives off his outbursts, his rants, making him act insufficient to his high profile image. Kanye just fell victim to his own doings, but little do he know that his "asshole nature." is working for him as a brand.

Matt Lauer did a typical move as a Journalist by not only talking to him after the public looked at Kanye in disgust a year after his Taylor Swift incident, but he hit a subject that was pulled back up just after Bush just said that Kanye calling him Racist was this worst moment in his Presidency. If Kanye is upset he needs to look at his PR/Branding division for not strategically thinking of how to approach media after the Bush comment that basically says Kanye ruined his life.

Media are very clever on striking a nerve and thinks steps ahead of their preys before devouring them. In order not to be eaten you need to look like poisonous berries, something that they can't even taste. Kanye's comment should have been a piece of his approach to the situation. All his interviews with Journalist known for their honest, free spirited questions will be in the same category as this Today show interview.

The Moment Kanye Ruined Bush's Legacy *SIDE EYE*

Friday, September 17, 2010

Willow Smith: Punky Brewster of the New Millenium

2010 has been the year for kids stars to resurface and take the entertainment world by storm with faces such as Justin Beiber coming in and grasping the hearts of both music industry professionals and fans. However, the world is getting ready to be taken over by a 9 year old that is fusing god given talent with a hot look. Jada and Will Smith gave the world their son Jaden Smith (who has starred in Box Office smashed such as The Pursuit of Happiness and The Karate Kid), but now it is time for us all to witness their daughter Willow Smith take the world by storm.

Willow Smith has caused a frenzy with her single "Whip My Hair," which seems to be one of the most popular songs out at the moment. Fans and critics alike agreed that her out of nowhere smash surpasses
Rhianna's latest effort.  The creation of this pop star was right before us and the transition from her being "Will and Jada Pinkett Smith's daughter" to her own entity was born.

What I am liking about the REVAMPED Willow Smith is that she is bringing something different to the tween, teeny bop genre/crowd and is most definitely going to cause a movement where children will have shaved heads, dress like rock stars and wear cool sneakers. This aspect of her image works because it is building her brand into the "iconic child."

Growing up we all loved Punky Brewster and had the apparel, shoes, accessories etc. The world is yearning for a child star to emerge and cause frenzy and it seems that the entertainment world is recognizing the possibilities when that void is filled.  Willow will fill this void because she is young, comes from a renowned Hollywood family and has a style that all age brackets love and can grow to love.

I question if this little big star can knock Rhianna off her throne because innocence wins over a reputation that has been questioned by the world. Roc Nation houses both artist and can utilize this force to give us a Rock/Pop duo that gives us clean,fun where the other projects the sex and fury.

Willow Smith looks like her father, has her Mom alternative music passion, embodies natural style and will be a name that will be relevant in the entertainment world. As her brand grows we will see her walk with grace as she "whips her hair back and forth."



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You Can't Kill Hot Bars Behind Bars

As I write this blog I am zoned out listening to the MC that my first love blasted in his old school Chevy and had everyone yelling GOON SQUUUAAAD! This artist changed the game and had people looking at a different Chicago in which the world wasn't familiar. However, life happens and this artist fate changed the direction of his career.

Hip Hop has its bad boys in the industry with many artist being faced with trials and spending time in jail ranging from Snoop Dogg to Tupac. Recently, artists such as Lil Wayne and TI served time in jail and has remained as successful artists. Hence, Lil Wayne made more money this year while he was in prison then he did last year while he was out of prison. Lil Wayne survives as an artist while in prison through his Young Money label where he has the two hottest artists in heavy rotation, Nicki Minaj and Drake. His voice is still heard through his influence in these artists flow and has many features on their tracks. Lil Wayne is even in Drake's newest video for his "MISS ME" track. TI left his mark with his wife, Tiny from Xscape, and Lil Wayne's ex Wife BET reality show where both rappers are the key subject subliminally.

 The latest and undisputed lyricist to be placed in prison is Chicago's BUMP J who had over 20,000 downloads of his newly released mixtape REMEMBER ME hosted by The Aphilliates DJ MOONDAWG. The success of this mixtape raises the question of how can artists brand themselves while incarcerated.

Bump J sticks out to me because he is an individual that wasn't privileged to only serve a year in prison (He was sentenced to seven years) like Hip Hop favs Lil Wayne and TI. His fame and street cred has shown why BUMP J brought a different flava to the industry and why his imprisonment came at a time where he was about to blow in the mainstream scene.

I personally feels that with no promo at all and the success of his latest mixtape, REMEMBER ME, shows that the "streets" are a important factor in branding. For instance, will Justin Bieber have the same amount of supporters when if he was imprisoned for the same accusations as Bump J? Bump J was an artist that could give 16 bars of street poetry that touch the soul, giving accurate descriptions for Chicagoans and all individuals that resides in Urban America.

The key to branding artists such as Lil Wayne and Bump J is creditability to their target audience. If the target audience, urban communities, views an artist as someone who is really living the life that they are spitting our speak lyrics that the "streets" live.

Shyne was just realesed from prison and his anticpation as an artist died. The failure of his brand was the lack of exposure hence his last album being released in late 2004 and the lack of resources such as social media, exposures via magazines (letter to fans, columns etc.) and the drive to keep hold to his fans he accumulated during his BAD BOY days.

An artist that wants to survive while in jail needs bars that speak life, realness giving the people something that the mainstream fail to give in song: THE TRUTH. Bump J is Chicago and gives the real through his words in a way most artist fails to deliver. Artists like Lil Wayne, Bump J and TI is proof that you can't kill hot bars behind bars.........





Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Reality of It Football: Why the Bengals Will Win Without the Superbowl

The Cincinnati Bengals hold a history in the NFL that is just as prominent as their neighbors the Cleveland Browns. A true Ohioer takes pride in wearing orange knowing that this hue is a reflection of the Buckeye State. Despite the pride amongst its fellow neighbors, the Bengals has made an impressive comeback for the season that will leave a historical mark on the entire sports world.
Reality television has taken over our worlds and finding reality stars isn't uncommon, hence the popularity of Omarosa, Elizabeth Hasselbeck etc. This past summer Bengals signed Terrell Owens to join Chad Ochocino to the Bengal family which only added excitement for the upcoming season. Both TO and Ochocino have reality shows on VH1 that gets much feedback from football and non football fans. TO gives us the "real" Terrell while Chad lets us witness him find love. However, was this a smart decision for football?

It's mid August and that only means one thing... FOOT BALL PRESEASON! The time of the year where men ignore their mates during game time and women gather in their stilletos to discuss all the players tightends. Nevertheless, football holds an interest this year that will not only take the NFL to higher heights, but bring this particular team back to life.

The reason why TO and Ochocino being on the same team works because not only has the two iconic sport figures have Sunday nights going crazy on Twitter, Facebook and all other social media outlets, but the shows both had over 1 million viewers during the season premieres (via
This will not only capture popularity and a more marketable image for the players, but the chances of advertising for the NFL and the Bengals is more relaxed and open doors to new markets to explore for the entire NFL brand. I wouldn't be surprise if I seen T shirts that read "Ochocino's Bengal Baby" on "new found" female Bengal fans.

Bengals may not have a track record like the New Orleans Saints or the San Diego Chargers who both made it to the finals last season, but I think it is safe to say that the Bengals are winning right now.....EVEN WITHOUT THE SUPERBOWL!

Terrell Owens

Chad Ochocino

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Film Industry: The PR Prespective

I had the pleasure of speaking with Paul Coy Allen of TentoOne Entertainment and is very impressed with his brand's upcoming projects.  Alongside his partners, Marcus Spence and Phil Thorton, Paul Coy Allen and the TentoOne family is responsible for many hot things we see visually such as Timbaland and Drake's "Say Something," Lisa Raye's "The Real McCoy," Nickelodeon's Kenan & Kel and All That as well as many other prominent television shows and films.

With upcoming projects such as Faith Evans reality show debuting soon one may question what TentoOne needs to get the target audience it needs to flourish?Effective PR comes in with understanding the film industry and the needs of those other brands who needs producers, directors etc. 

Would I suggest the public knowing about this brand or just keep it in the film industry? I say the only time a film company should get exposure to the public is after the PR to film related media and exposure to necessary media professionals have taken place. For i.e. placement in Filmmaker Magazine and Bright Lights.

TentoOne media is a company to watch take over the Silver screen slowly, but surely! If you need hot film related work performed contact them at and SAY SOMETHING BABY!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Public Relations is my story, the windows to something deeper than a press release and media recovery. It is what I represent as a community, the image of many men and women who strive to shape the world's image into something great. Building relationships and molding ourselves into representatives for brands is a task that PR/IMC professionals must undergo to get the results.

My journey begins at Roosevelt University when I planned and arranged press for my student organization RU PRIME, where Chicago local artists Shirty K and Ben One performed for college students! That was the beginning as my calling as the "PR IN THE CITY." 

This blog was started to inform people people on the real focus of PR/IMC and to give a better idea by taking hot topics of the day and giving them an analysis form a PR/IMC perspective!

This is my story, Ariel DeNey of Ella A.L.L.E, and stay tuned to my blog to learn about the madness of being the PR IN THE CITY!

Trey Songz Versus R. Kelly: The Saga Continues with ALREADY TAKEN

Everyone knows that R kelly has been crowned the KING OF R&B, but lately Trey Songz has taken the world by storm with his sexy style and his breath taking voice! His latest album READY proved he was ready to walk in the likes of R&B hotnnes such as Ginuwine, R. Kelly etc. and sold many copies and landed him on tour with Jay Z. However, the drama occured when last here he released a R. Kelly diss that shook upthe world.especially my city Chicago home of R.Kelly. Now I am a HUGE Trey Songz fan and I love R.Kelly so I never picked sides, but this ongoing "singer beef" seems to shake up the world.
From a PR perspective both parties have gotten some exposure from this ordeal, however it reigns in Trey Songz favor hence his album sales and the anticipated release of his album PASSION, PAIN AND LOVE in September. But R.kelly is making a an attempt to come back with his "ORIGINAL VERSION" of Trey's "ALREADY TAKEN" which is a lead single for STEP UP 3D.

I was in the car with my Mom and it came on the radio station WGCI and they made a fuss over it, but I really don't think that this can help R.Kelly recover as much considering his latest album flop and how his sales didn't compare to his other LP's.

R.Kelly Publicist would be wise if she focused on how he is recovering from his sexual assault case, his divorce from his wife (dancer Andrea Kelly) and how his new album is bringing back that soul R&B today is missing. R.kelly image began to go downhill every since his sexual abuse charges and when Jay Z decided he didn't want to be a part of R.kelly's world any longer when chaos broke out during the Best of Both Worlds Tour in 2004.

Kelz, you are our history and I am counting on you to make sure the faith I am keeping is a good decision!