During the course of his campaign, president-elect Donald Trump entered into feuds with a number of artists including Neil Young and R.E.M., for his use of their songs during rallies and events. Now, with inauguration days away, headlines report the number of musical acts refusing to play the 45th president’s inauguration.
But, is this really a problem for Trump?
“Probably not, ” says David Allan, Ph.D, professor of marketing at Saint Joseph’s University and an expert in audiobranding,in a way getting rejected by artists and movie stars may actually continue to build his brand.”
“When seeking endorsements, selecting songs or soliciting participation by musical acts, politicians should think about what best suits their brand — and not worry as much about having an A-list set.”
Allan, who has studied the history of popular music and political campaigns and explores the impact that music has had on modern-day voters, presented on this topic at the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Popular American Culture Association (MAPACA) Conference in November. “In many ways, Obama’s engagement with popular culture and Hollywood over the last eight years built a brand and set a bar that’s likely too high for anyone to reach ,” he says.
While Obama’s inaugural events were almost full-fledged concerts, Trump’s decidedly different brand may be best served by sticking to patriotic mainstays and the traditional country (Toby Keith) that has served the Republicans well over the years.”
“As long as the National Anthem is sung live the music will not be what people are talking about on Inauguration Day,” ” Allan says.
Dr. Allan can be reached for comment by contacting the University Communications office, 610-660-1222, [email protected].
David Allan, Ph.D ’99, is a leading expert on media, advertising, marketing and pop culture, with more than 20 years of experience in radio. Author of "This Note's For You: Popular Music + Advertising = Marketing Excellence" (Business Expert Press, 2015), Allan has been quoted in national news outlets, speaking on topics ranging from Michael Jackson’s post-trial career, to decency standards in the media, to Apple’s partnership with U2. Appointed to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Subcommittee on Indecency following the Janet Jackson Super Bowl incident, he was one of the few scholars to receive two research grants from the NAB to investigate the effectiveness of radio commercial length on recall.