A Publicity Opportunity You Could Only ‘Dazeem’ About

Anyone watching the Oscars coverage last weekend would have noticed John Travolta’s interesting pronunciation of Idina Menzel’s name when introducing her performance of the Frozen smash hit ‘Let it Go’. In fact, John Travolta’s introduction of ‘Adele Dazeem’ was so memorable that it has become a viral phenomenon across the internet.


The unique pronunciation has spawned countless memes, a twitter profile and even made ‘John Travolta’ a trending phrase on Twitter across the world!

This could have been a rather embarrassing incident for several parties involved. But it has actually turned into a massive publicity campaign for the Idina Menzel brand and her upcoming new show on Broadway, If/Then. Why? Because it was organic.

We are most likely to respond to information we receive from friends and family rather than a publicity source. And the Adele Dazeem gaffe has been promoted through social networks of friends. Internet memes spread through Facebook and Twitter from one network of friends to another and the same goes for the many confused tweets that occurred after the live gaffe.

For those who did know of Idina Menzel they were immediately reminded of her through the countless articles that resulted (most of which mentioned her upcoming Broadway engagement). For those who didn’t, they now do know about her because everyone is talking about her (and consequently her upcoming Broadway engagement).

In fact, the mis-pronunciation of Idina Menzel’s name is almost secondary at this point. John Travolta’s introduction has spawned an online app allowing users to ‘Travoltify’ their own name. Because, as the app’s catchphrase reads, you’re no one until you have had your name mangled by a confused, squinting John Travolta!

All this is genius publicity – especially without the help of Idina Menzel or John Travolta’s own PR teams. But it gets better . . .

For a while Idina Menzel’s team just rolled with the joke, laughing along with everyone else. But the producers of If/Then surpassed this response and actually got a lot more mileage out of this popular new personality which was making waves all over the internet.

At Tuesday’s dress rehearsal of If/Then, one of the other performers uploaded a picture of a specially designed insert for the show’s Playbill. When a performer misses a performance on Broadway, all the playbills for that performance are stuffed with a sheet that says ‘At this performance the role of (lead character) will be played by (enter name of understudy here)’. Taking the Travoltify trend further, the producers created a special insert for the Playbill titled ‘At this performance the role of Elizabeth will be played by Adele Dazeem’.

What a great idea! This added further fuel to the joke and got the John Travolta gaffe back into people’s mind allowing it to spread like wildfire again.

This has been an excellent opportunity for the Idina Menzel brand. And there could not have been better timing with her chart-topping track winning ‘Best Song’ at the Oscars and the opening of her new Broadway show right around the corner. As a result of this gaffe, Idina’s Twitter followers have steadily grown and ticket sales for If/Then have been selling extremely well.

Then coming off her growing popularity with previously un-explored demographics who were engaged during the internet memes, she just scored an incredibly popular viral video from the Jimmy Fallon show. Within two days, this cover of ‘Let it Go’ featuring Jimmy Fallon, Idina Menzel and the show’s band The Roots has reached over 5.6 million people on YouTube. Check out the latest viral video below:

This truly does prove that ‘Any publicity is good publicity’ – especially when it is handled as well as Idina Menzel and her If/Then team.