By: Jordan Ross
The 2017 Grammy Awards will go down as one to be remembered. The Grammys, otherwise labeled by many as the biggest night in music, has grown since its inception in May 1959 to become the spectacle of an award ceremony that draws a television audience second only to the Academy Awards. Many memorable moments occurred during the show that people will be talking about for years to come, from Beyoncé’s pregnant musical number, to Bruno Mars’ Prince tribute and Adele’s George Michael tribute redo.
What goes on during the Grammys ceremony is not the only thing that takes over the news feeds. Much of the conversation surrounding the Grammys is the fashion. The Grammys brings out some of the most prominent celebrities and well-known musicians in the world, and one of the most popular topics people like to talk about is what they are wearing. The pre-show that televised before the Grammys dedicated two hours of showing all the celebrities as they were entering the venue, anchors having a quick chat with them, and letting the public see what those celebrities were wearing.
In terms of publicity, the Grammys is a huge platform that celebrities can use to capture the attention of the audience. This year, according to Nielsen, which is a company that measures TV ratings throughout the U.S., about 26 million viewers tuned in to watch this year’s ceremony. In comparison, the 2016 Grammys had 25 million viewers, meaning a million more pairs of eyeballs in 2017 were watching all the festivities compared to last year (and not to mention all the impressions on social media that the Grammys received for this year’s ceremony).
Needless to say, the Grammys is a great opportunity for the celebrities who walk the red carpet before the show to get their name into the media. Even celebrities who people have not had at the forefront of their mind can come to public attention based on what they are wearing and if they stand out.
The Grammys is a golden opportunity to get an audience’s attention. This may typically be a figurative statement, but one man took that statement literally, and he may have stolen the show by doing just that.
During the Grammy pre-show, a man dressed in a unique golden costume walked onto the red carpet for the world to see, and see they did. At that moment, all eyes turned to this mysterious golden figure. Sometimes, celebrities dress differently to stand out, but this particular moment was quite different from others.
After a short amount of time, people figured out that the man dressed in gold was indeed singer-songwriter CeeLo Green in costume, but no one understood for what reason or what cause he was doing it for. Regardless of why he was dressed that way, people could not help but talk about it. Reporters at the Grammys were tweeting and writing articles about what was happening, and with so many questions revolving around what was taking place and why, people could not help but follow this story.
All over social media, people were getting involved and trying to figure out what was going on. They were also using their creative spirits to compare CeeLo Green’s costume to other prominent images in pop culture. Here are some examples:
Ferrero Rocher® Chocolate:
Drake’s Gold Necklace:
It turns out that the reasoning behind CeeLo Green’s costume was to promote his musical “alter-ego” Gnarly Davidson. Gnarly Davidson is one half of the soul duo Gnarls Barkly, along with the music producer Danger Mouse.
Gnarly Davidson’s appearance on the Grammys red carpet may have been most of the population’s first introduction to Gnarly, but he has existed before this even took place.
The Twitter page for Gnarly Davidson has been active since October 2016, but in just one day, CeeLo Green found a way to propel himself, and his “alter-ego” into the national spotlight.
Probably the best part about all of this publicity for CeeLo Green (other than getting to dress in a pretty sweet gold costume), is that he didn’t have to pay a dime for any of it. Before the Grammys started, realistically the majority of the public did not have CeeLo Green at the forefront of their minds. By standing out in the crowd and doing something that the average celebrity would not do, CeeLo Green was able to grab the attention of millions of people around the world. Without having to create and disseminate any form of traditional advertising, CeeLo Green created a way to induce a conversation about him. Not only that, but he helped promote his own brand as he simultaneously put Gnarly Davidson on the map with all the publicity that came in the aftermath of his debut.
Today, if you mention Gnarly Davidson, you may get a different reaction than you would have on February 11, 2017. This just goes to show that in public relations, it’s OK to be different. The world is a big place, and publicity can be hard to come by with so much going on. Sometimes, it takes some creativity and thinking outside of the box to stand out. You never know, even the strangest of ideas can turn into a golden opportunity.
Jordan Ross is a senior at Eastern Michigan University majoring in public relations and minoring in communications. Jordan is in his first semester serving as the vice president of professional development for EMU’s Eleanor Wright Chapter of PRSSA. Jordan is also a member of EMU’s Honors College and serves as the president of the EMU Student Center Student Employee Advisory Committee. You can find Jordan on Twitter @_JJRoss.