Cannes Lions 2015: ‘Social media is ‘real’ reality TV’: David Guetta

The DJ and music producer explained why the ‘old model’ of celebrity endorsements doesn’t work for him

Jun 25, 2015 09:43:00 PM | Article | Gokul Krishnamoorthy

“If the whole world gets to know my music (even if it is through piracy), I am not going to fight it,” said DJ Producer David Guetta, on day five of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. He was in conversation with Maurice Levy, chairman and CEO, Publicis Groupe.
Asked for his take on the subject of copyright and privacy, Guetta said, “You can’t resist progress. Whether it is through streaming, CDs, or pirated downloads…, the only thing that matters is that my music is heard.”
“The worst case scenario is that nobody knows my music,” he quipped.
The celebrated DJ explained that when on concert trips to Brazil or China, the spread of the music, through whatever channels, ensures his popularity and attendance. Terming himself ‘fortunate’ that some people still pay for his music, he placed things in context with a pinch of pragmatism one doesn’t expect from artistes.
Social media is ‘real’ reality
The star, with over 55 million fans on Facebook, attributed the following to keeping it ‘real’. He urged brands to do the same, to connect with consumers.
“In a way, I kind of live in it. Social media is completely replacing TV. I haven’t watched TV in six years; an sometimes when I do watch it, I do it on YouTube. The worst TV is probably reality TV. Social media is reality TV, but social media is ‘real’ reality TV – reality TV is fake reality. Social media gives access to us as normal people,” he explained, adding that the era of ‘super mega stars’ staring down upon others was over. “People want to feel close to people they love,” added Guetta.
Co-branding, not one-way endorsement
Levy brought to light the celebrity music producer’s association with Mumm champagne, to create what is billed as the world’s first double screen music video. The video would play on the PC and a mobile screen seamlessly. View it here.
Guetta explained his rationale behind brand associations: “I am not interested in selling alcohol (or anything else). I am my own product. What I want is to achieve things that I could not without a brand. We don’t have any more money in the music business. Music videos are very important for artistes. And record company budgets are becoming smaller and smaller.”
Brands like Apple have fans, like he does as a brand, and the two could reach the other’s fans through a ‘co-branding’ exercise, he observed. “If we do clever co-branding, we can all expand as brands,” he said.
Guetta left the audience with a clear message: “How are people thinking that by putting his (a celebrity’s) face on a poster they will sell toothpaste (or anything else)? Brands are still using celebrities in the ‘old model’. I don’t want to do something just for the money, something I don’t believe in.”
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