What do you do when everybody apparently hates you?
Two bands are dealing with that issue these days. One of them hit the jackpot. The other hasn’t figured out their next move yet.
Nickelback has become the band it is cool to hate, and when they were announced as the halftime entertainment at the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day football game, the hatred boiled over. The anti-Nickelback movement gained momentum as more than 55,000 people signed an on-line petition and publicity about the Detroit situation went wild. What was Nickelback supposed to do?
How about create a viral video on Funnyordie.com about how much people hate them? The video was released in the middle of last week and instantly became an internet favorite. Even those who are self-professed Nickelback haters had to give the band props for a pretty cool video.
Nickelback did exactly what they needed to do. They acknowledged the hatred. They laughed at it.They mocked it. In the video they came across as funny and human, and relatively hard to hate. By no means will this make the Nickelback haters go away, but it will absolutely score the band points with the millions of fans they already have, and it will probably win over some new fans. In the process, it gave the band a tremendous amount of publicity for essentially no cost at all.
Meanwhile, Metallica is caught in the headlights after releasing Lulu, an album of collaborative work with the legendary Lou Reed. Critics and fans almost unanimously hate the album. The very-smart Chuck Klosterman wrote a review that read “If the Red Hot Chili Peppers acoustically covered the 12 worst Primus songs for Starbucks, it would still be (slightly) better than this.” The early sales figures are abysmal… just 13,000 copies in the US and 6,000 in the UK. Those are the worst first week sales for a Metallica album since Soundscan started keeping track in 1991.
Here’s my free advice to Metallica: Move on, really really quickly. Release a killer Metallica song right away that makes your fans heads explode with pleasure. And by right away, I mean in the next 30 days. Seriously fast. Waste no time and give your core fans a song – or even better, a whole album – that screams Metallica. You must have something in the vaults that is classic Metallica. Forget about Lulu. Stop defending it. Take the approach Lou Reed did when he said “Who cares? I’m essentially in this for the fun of it.” Treat Lulu like a vanity project that you never expected anybody to purchase and take seriously.
Or give the boys from Nickelback a call and get some advice on how to make a funny video, like this one.