Saturday, November 15, 2008

The cast of Twilight explains MuchMusic

So I’m watching Live @ Much right now and Sarah is interviewing the cast of this upcoming movie Twilight. Now, I haven’t read the books so I can’t authoritatively comment on the plot – can a commenter fill in here with plot please, Robyn or Kevin maybe? – but it seems to be about a girl in some rainy NorPac town who falls in with a crowd of sultry vampires. The movie is cast with models, not actors. Seriously. This is exactly the same route that Ashton Kutcher took, and last night I watched him on Real Time with Bill Maher – what an Amtrak performance.

But this crowd outside the ChumCity building at Queen and John is going absolutely insane. Like just total hysteria. Sarah is interviewing four cast members: three waif model-looking girls with gorgeous locks, and this foppish good-looking British guy who obviously is the object of everyone’s adoration and mania. He has his head in his hands most of the time and it makes me think he’s either jet-lagged or looking to score more coke. His name apparently is Robert Pattinson.

Sarah is now asking them “how are the vampires in this movie different from the vampires in other movies?”

They reply, “our vampires aren’t just villains, you get to see how they live, you know, they’re like, real people” – wow, deep.

Ok but really what is this saying about MuchMusic? It’s a scene that we’ve seen a million times before at MuchMusic: screaming fans and unsubstantive questions from vapid veejays.

But teens don’t like this, do they? Ok they do, but the ones watching at home are saying to themselves, “yeah, I love MM and I love the movie Twilight, but I’d sure as hell never be one of those losers screaming downtown in the rain.” The teens watching at home are still as engrossed with the content of MM but somehow can relate to the medium in a more marketable way. MuchMusic has crafted themselves as a youth culture powerhouse, a federal reserve for the distribution of what is meaningful and current.

See, MuchMusic creates a reality-based stage for the lowest common denominator. Teens love the lowest common denominator. It’s a way to feel intellectually superior to the depravity going on live on location but still get your fix of brands, celebrities, mundane issues, and relatable content.

I really don’t like the content on MuchMusic, but I adore the marketing. It’s just so blatant and pervasive. Even during commercials they’re now having trivia and showing a tiny square of live video feed. It makes you sit and watch. Brilliant.

MuchMusic markets to teens through creating a connection point with them. Note that I’m not saying they’ve created a ‘channel’, a ‘brand’, or a ‘programming schedule’. MuchMusic is a connection point with teens because it’s integrative across a variety of different media channels (tv, sms, video, web, etc) and has a high degree of interactivity with its viewers. The identity is founded upon strong young-culture acknowledgement (not debasement) and a recognition that commercialism is almost a partnership between the viewer and the channel.

Do the viewers know this? I’d argue that yes, they know they’re being sold with commercials targeted to them and content styled and translated to resonate. But they really don’t care about that. It’s being sold on a lifestyle and an identity that they affiliate with and like anyway.

So I actually now want to go see Twilight. Apparently so do all of you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yayyyy, more content!!!

I actually hae no idea what this Twilight thing is about, but I do think it's crazy the way modern movie/tv stars can bring out such huge crowds, even in crappy weather. I get it, the guy's hot - everything about him fromnhis perfectly coiffed hair to his laid-back British accent is hot, but I'm sure as Hell not going to stand out in cold, crappy weather to listen to him answer questions thought up by a two year old who has no idea what this guy is representing.