June 1, 2011 – 3:32 pm

Lady Gaga: Creamy Smooth Social Media Goddess


She goes by the name Mother Monster.  She’s considered this generation’s Madonna.  And she’s taken over social media.  She is Lady Gaga.  Love it or hate it, Lady Gaga has proven to be probably the most business-savvy person to hit the headlines in a long long time.

Recently crowned as Forbes ‘ “World’s Most Powerful Celebrity,” there’s no denying the woman is a force to be reckoned with (or at least acknowledged). Now, I’m not the biggest Lady Gaga fan.  Although I am from Generation Y my loyalty will always belong to Madonna, the original leading lady on the pop scene.

However, as a marketing professional I cannot shy away from the amazing business sense Lady Gaga has exuded recently.  In support of her latest studio album, Born This Way, Lady Gaga has taken the current playing field of the music industry and leveraged/harnessed/made it her b*tch to make sure people rush out to buy her music.  Here are the main ways she’s managed this.

Photo by John Signor

One of Gaga’s first well known alliances is Starbuck’s and Lady Gaga’s Scavenger Hunt adventure, “SRCH by Starbucks featuring Lady Gaga.”  The scavenger hunt utilizes new QR technology to lead Starbucks drinkers to scan and visit certain Starbucks digital properties and blogs to find clues.  Developed into rounds, SRCH began on May 23 and continues June 1 and 3 to finish out the first round.  The rounds are estimated to take one to several hours to complete and encourage group play and sharing among Starbucks drinkers and Little Monsters.  On May 23, Starbucks literally pumped up the Lady Gaga tie in by playing her new album “Born This Way” in stores all day and allowing customers to purchase the album in store too.  This makes beyond perfect business sense since Starbucks are essentially on every corner allowing millions of people to hear Lady Gaga’s new material and buy on the spot while they grab their Frappuccinos.

The second Lady Gaga social media splash I noticed was the Google Chrome/Gaga partnership.  On May 20, Gaga premiered her commercial with Google Chrome during her appearance on Saturday Night Live.  The commercial depicts Mother Monster using Google Chrome and YouTube to connect with her fans through posting comments on fan videos, many including their rendition of “Edge of Glory” a featured single off “Born This Way. “  All the while the track plays in the background with the end of the commercial saying, “Lady Gaga, Mother Monster.  The web is what you make it.”  Damn right it is.  The commercial paid off since her new single “Edge of Glory” debuted at #3 o the Hot 100 selling 266,000 downloads in one week.

One final Gaga social media invasion I noticed was the partnership with Gaga and Farmvile.  I had to scratch my head when I first heard of this collaboration but was pleasantly entertained once I read about it.  The insanely popular Facebook game Farmville developed a spin off to their online game called “GagaVille.”  In a mythical land full of crystals and ponies, players work to unlock special Gaga themed game extras.  All the while, Gaga’s songs from Born This Way are played in the background.  Genius.  This version of the game is only available for a limited time only though.

Enter GagaVille.

Despite Gaga hitting me from all sides, I still wasn’t convinced to succumb to buying her album.  That however was definitely changed when I heard her album was being sold for $0.99 on Amazon Monday and Wednesday of last week.  It can’t get any better than that.  And to my surprise it wasn’t half bad. I give it 3.5/5 stars. My favorites include Heavy Metal Lover, Bad Kids and Scheiße :-D. At the least it’s something to tie me over until the next studio album from Madonna comes out.

So there you have it.  Lady Gaga has shown how to use the digital age to sell the heck out of a product.  I think it’s safe to say Mother Monster has a method to her madness because this week her album sold 1,108,00 units debuting at #1.  Not too shabby.  Paws up everyone and let your ROAR be heard!