Opposites Attract . . . Publicity
Celebrity status seems to be the name of the game nowadays. Famous stars like Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian are always looking for a way to push boundaries and secure their place on the front of magazines. Average people are competing in reality competitions to get a taste of this highly anticipated celebrity status. But who would have thought it was the ones who don’t want it that actually get all the attention.
It has been an enormous year for Sia. After working as a songwriter with Lea Michele, Jennifer Lopez, Hilltop Hoods, Beyonce, Jessie J, Maroon 5 and Katy Perry (among others), Sia truly broke out this year with her internationally successful single ‘Chandelier’.
But Sia is a bit different from other artists. While many other celebrities are clamouring for the spotlight, Sia wants to stay as far away from the spotlight as possible.
Framed by her desire to live a normal life off the stage, Sia employs an interesting technique. She sings with her back to the audience and employs a dancer in an iconic ‘Sia’ wig to perform the song. She doesn’t even turn around for the interview.
The rationale behind this performance style rests in her desire not to be famous. Despite having an incredibly successful single on her hands, she wants to live a normal life where she isn’t constantly stopped on the streets for photos. However, there is one issue with this plan. The decision not to reveal her face to the audiences (except for charity causes close to her heart) is not quite as effective as she would like because for many years she performed facing the audience.
Type ‘Sia’ into Google and what do you get? Thousands of pictures of her face.
Daft Punk work along a similar line refusing to reveal themselves to their audiences creating a huge air of mystery about who is contained inside the robotic bodies they perform in. However, they have done that from Day 1 of their fame. Sia lacks the anonymity because we already know her.
In addition to the personal element behind her decision not to perform facing the audience, it is a fantastic marketing strategy.
While it may not really have the same element of mystery, it certainly breaks the cookie-cutter design of every other pop star. And anything that manages to break such a strongly held trend gets wonderful publicity. Why? Because it is a great point of difference.
Where every other pop star is performing to the audience, Sia’s performance style is so unexpected and unusual that everybody needs to talk about it. No matter whether their opinion focusses on her personal or marketing reasons for this stance, it is getting an unbelievable amount of coverage because it is surprising and unlike any of her competitors.
Who would have thought? A marketing campaign around avoiding fame has actually made her more famous. (Was that the aim? You be the judge.)