We no longer live in the 80s. With seemingly a thousand cable channels, and endless Websites, to get everybody interested you need a rallying point, something that hits people, TODAY!
You should read Seth Godin’s blog about this. Ironically, global-warming THEMED!
If the situation was that dire, why was there such a run-up in the planning? Was someone going to die of global warming TODAY?
Maybe they should have sold it as species going extinct in Alaska TODAY! Yeah, I know the planet’s heating up as a result of man’s activities, but my dad would freak if we left the refrigerator door open or a light on FORTY YEARS AGO!
An awareness campaign? Isn’t that like a Public Service Announcement? The kind a drunken celebrity makes after they hurt someone in a car accident, before they drink and drive AGAIN?
But it gets worse. The sponsors believe we somehow care about all these acts.
I tuned in last night and saw the John Butler Trio in Australia, and they were surprisingly good, but I was just testing out the Web feed, I don’t really give a shit about the John Butler Trio, I don’t give a shit about almost ALL of these acts! And I don’t HAVE TO!
I wish real Top Forty radio would come back, the best of the best of all genres, but I can’t see it happening. A popster isn’t going to sit through a country song. A rap fan won’t be able to reach the dial FAST ENOUGH! An assembly of a bunch of stuff I don’t want to see, interspersed with a few acts I do, just seems interminable, something I want nothing to do with.
The reason Live Aid worked was because of MTV. An assemblage of acts of this caliber, all televised on one TV channel, a channel that was OURS, was enough for us to rally around.
The reason Live 8 worked was because of the reunion of Pink Floyd. Something we wished would happen, and never seemed to. And, the fact that the band said it was a one time only affair. (And, the fact that the band HASN’T reunited thereafter has increased their cred. You know how it is, you test the waters, it’s all part of a calculated dash for cash.) If the Police WEREN’T ON TOUR it would be enough to tune in. Without the reunion of a classic act, we just don’t give a shit. Could have been the original Guns N’ Roses. MAYBE the original Eagles, but I don’t think people care enough. The JACKSONS? Something to truly make it a one time only event. We don’t want MORE, we just want SPECIAL!
Speaking of special, we don’t think Bravo is for music. Nor MSNBC. The fact that MTV screwed up Live 8 does not mean a music channel should not get THIS show. Maybe one of their digital channels, maybe Fuse. But utilizing Sundance and CNBC is like highlights on NBC. They’re doing us a FAVOR, they don’t care about US! (Oops, the highlights ARE on NBC!)
Or maybe truly jump into the 21st century. The show can ONLY be seen on the Web! With interaction on YouTube and MySpace. The person with the best MySpace Live Earth page gets to emcee. YouTube videos about how INDIVIDUALS are doing their part, stopping global warming. And then, if there is a TV feed, some of these YouTube videos make it to broadcast/cable. The 21st century is all about involving the audience. The audience isn’t involved here, they’re passively watching, if they’re doing this AT ALL! How EIGHTIES!
Music doesn’t drive the culture. To think otherwise is to have no knowledge of the marketplace. I don’t think we GIVE A SHIT about a concert, PERIOD! Maybe lemonade stands for global warming, once again, get the public INVOLVED!
But it’s a sad state of affairs when the backlash is about Madonna holding interests in polluting companies and acts contributing to the problem with their travel. The acts used to be Gods, now they’re just one step above the celebutantes on TMZ. If you want to have cred today, unless you’re already an icon, you say NO! You DON’T want the opportunity to reach EVERYBODY, you’re fearful of alienating your core audience. You want to cement the bond with YOUR people first and foremost.
In a TiVo world sitting in front of the tube and watching what you don’t want to is BEYOND frustrating. Spend all day in front of the television? God, it’s no longer 1985. Let me just dial in the highlights I want to see, not only act by act, but SONG BY SONG! THAT’S the festival. The Website launches with everything sliced and diced. THERE IS NO SIMULCAST! And maybe intersperse the message, told by celebs with cred. Get people TO DO something when they watch. Shit, how can "American Idol" get it so right, and Kevin Wall GET IT SO WRONG? AI works because people believe it’s THEIR SHOW! We don’t believe Live Earth is our show. Maybe we could have voted on who we wanted to see. OR NOT SEE! Add an edge. In Web world, there’s cutting honesty, not the bland we’re all friends of network television. Live Earth is network television.
More is sometimes less. One show, with true headliners, not seen recently, was enough. Doing it all over the world just dilutes the message. Where everybody in the world can tune in to see an event happening ANYWHERE, why do we need to have the EVENTS EVERYWHERE! Maybe one event in a space ravaged by temperatures rising. In Greenland, where the ice is melting.
The days of rounding up bands to sell your message are passe. You’ve got to tweak the concept, you’ve got to respect the audience and get it involved. This didn’t happen here.
Live Earth is so misconceived, so lame on so many levels, that most people just don’t care. They’ve done a DISSERVICE to the cause!