Making Wicked more ‘Popular’

Yesterday we looked at why musicals cover pop songs when it comes to increasing their fan base. But what about the reverse . . .

mika popular

Check out the music video here:

As he usually does, British singer/songwriter Mika has ignored convention and taken inspiration from Broadway mega-hit Wicked for his second single ‘Popular Song’ off his recent album (which is named after a lyric from Hedwig and the Angry Inch).

The song uses the familiar refrain from Wicked’s ‘Popular’ and re-writes the lyrics to make the song an anthem for bullied and unpopular people. So not only does this song borrow a refrain from Wicked, it also embodies the message of acceptance and looking beyond first impressions that the musical tries to promote.

Now, this song probably won’t bring the Wicked brand to people who have not heard of the show (because let’s face it, who hasn’t heard of Wicked). But what it will do is remind Mika fans about the existence of Wicked, and through the use of the ‘Popular’ refrain in his song he is endorsing the show with his seal of approval. In fact, by teaming up with Stephen Schwartz to write this song it suggests that Mika absolutely loved the musical.

Unlike other musical endorsements on celebrity twitter accounts or news bulletins, this one is more effective for a couple of reasons. Firstly, not only do the audience for this endorsement hear about the show, they also get to fall in love with some of the music. Secondly, as I said earlier, the face that Mika wanted to use some of the musical in his song speaks volumes. Thirdly, as opposed to the 20,000 or so views that musicals were getting for their own covers, this song has reminded close to 14 MILLION people on YouTube (many of whom will hopefully go and buy a ticket!). And finally . . .

If you are really lucky, the stars of Wicked enjoy the cover just as much as the fans and you get more of these brand partnerships as shown by Kristin Chenoweth’s special appearance at Mika’s sold out concert! And this not only benefits the musical, but also draws fans to and from the Wicked, Kristin Chenoweth and Mika brand which also helps to sell his album to a new audience!

Check out the Kristen Chenoweth and Mika collaboration below: