This personal branding strategy becomes apparent in the congruence between these ads and Bowie’s use of his image in his music videos. Commercials, like music videos, costumes, and interviews, served Bowie as a vehicle for reinforcing his star image on a very public, almost ubiquitous, stage. Only allowing the use of specific (not always brand-new) songs and styling himself in specific ways, Bowie co-opted advertising as another tool for the definition of his public self. Many corporations and ad campaigns were similarly only too happy to more clearly define Bowie’s iconoclastic image while aligning themselves with it.
This article by Katherine Reed is a selection from The Oxford Handbook of Music and Advertising, edited by James Deaville, Siu-Lan Tan, and Ron Rodman.
Featured Image: Courtesy ofWikimedia Commons.
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