Stories have become an important part of our lives. The habit of listening, watching, and reading stories developed when we were kids. From bedtime stories to your favourite movie, all have emotions that moved you. But what if someone makes you part of a story even without your realisation? That’s how the new era is pushing the boundaries of storytelling and marketing.
Lil Nas X for his new song Montero released his collection of Nike Satan shoes with a drop of human blood in them. There were only 666 shoes, and all of them sold out within a minute. The problem? Nike disagreed to make any shoes. Turns out MSCHF Product Studio, an art collective in Brooklyn, actually made them.
Lil Nas X explained how he deliberately did it as a part of his marketing campaign for his new song release. He knew the consequences, and all the backlash he received would drive people straight to the song.
The talk doesn’t end here. Lil Nas X in his video dances with the devil himself, which was provocative. His video received a good deal of backlash and Lil Nas X clapped back to the few black lashes on twitter. Soon his video song was a centre of memes and reels on Tik Tok and Instagram. Many conservatives argued how the song would spoil the generation, which only paved the way for more memes and trends.
Did this happen by coincidence? Is it just another viral post getting lucky? No. This was all a careful strategic plan made by Lil Nas X and till now it’s going exactly as he planned.
But He is just the ‘designer’ of the story — but normal people like you and me write the story. Lil Nas X claims himself to be the child of the internet and it’s true since he is famous for his marketing stunts since his first song.
And if you think he’s just a kid who got lucky with ‘old town road’ then you are mistaken.
The internet has brought Lil Nas X up. He has spent years mastering how to use the internet and how to hit the right buttons that make him go viral. Remember ‘Old Town Road’?, It was not just a one day effort to make it go viral, but Lil Nas X has been planning this for years.
He started by creating a small community in twitter which involved sharing informational content like funny memes and posts. Soon his community grew up to 30K followers, and he decided this could be the right time to introduce them to his music. While his memes received many likes, no one cared to listen to his song.
So he added his song to a short meme video, and it blew up! Everyone started searching for his song and to make it more visible he added the lines ‘I got the horses in the back.’ in his YouTube music video title. Lil Nas X knew going the conventional way of sharing SoundCloud links and YouTube covers will not get him noticed and honestly if you ask me he is a marketing genius.
Marketing in a generation that is smart and knows all the tricks is hard. I believe what Lil Nas X did was brave, and it doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong as long as it reached the right audience and achieved exactly what he was planning on. His ‘gay agenda’ actually worked and opened a conversation about the LGBTQ+ Community.
Stories have changed with generation. With books to audio books to videos, with a generation where everyone’s stories get buried, it’s important to make yours stick and honestly Lil Nas X is doing a pretty magnificent job in that.