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Why Louis’ current rebranding is more effective and less harmful than you think
We all know it is vital that for 1D to have any sort of a future, they need to appeal to a more adult market. What’s the best way of doing that? Make them seem like adults. It’s pretty simple right.
Sure, you say, but why do they have to push straight partyboy Louis? How is that helping anyone? Well, let me tell you.
Straight partyboy Louis is, despite what the fandom thinks, the most innocuous, forgettable image that you can push on a young white male celebrity. Adults don’t really give a fuck that a 23 year old boybander is out partying and picking up girls. It’s a non-story and anyone who has been 23 knows it’s pretty standard tame behaviour. He’s not getting arrested, he’s not shooting up, he’s not using prostitutes or doing anything scandalous that would make adults sit up and take note. And whilst it feels to us that they are pushing the het thing really hard, remember that for most people heterosexuality is so much the norm that it doesn’t register. They won’t read these articles and go, oh my gosh, he must be straight, that is big, fundamental information I shall retain and never let go of, they will just go, meh, he’s normal, whatever.Or if they’re smart they will just point out that he is gay and this is PR.
My point is that these kinds of articles are the best way for his name to be in the papers, giving just enough of a sorry excuse for a story that they can print his name in non-1D contexts, without adults getting too suspicious that something is afoot, because the stories themselves are pretty dull. These are the stories people will skim past, shrug off, claim they don’t care about or that they are unshocked by…
BUT - and here is what matters - they will also subconsciously incorporate the name of Louis Tomlinson into their mental catalogue of adult celebrities. Skim past enough half-arsed stories about Louis Tomlinson and eventually, without even trying you will have an idea of him doing things that adults do. No more “One Direction, aren’t they like 16?” because no, somewhere in your mind you associate them with alcohol and clubbing and the use of drugs being non-shocking, so, your brain does the work quietly in the background and concludes, they must be adults.
Side bonus point - these sort of articles can actually prompt people to defend Louis Tomlinson as being an adult. Literally, they are provoking the public to actively assert that Louis is in fact an adult.
So what you’re saying is, the fandom that has repeatedly been subjected to sexist and misogynistic manipulation from the media and a band’s own marketing team is now being given a chance to show the world that they have strong opinions and ideas on how to approach and even solve topics such as bullying, sexism, equality, poverty, hunger, disease, racism, climate change, etc?
And the band that has persistently been tabloid fodder and reduced within that same media to mere gossip, never had their music, talent, intelligence, or social-mindedness focused on, is taking a stand alongside that same fandom to use their fame and wealth to address those same issues?
this whole marketing push/rebrand/whatever it is is so fascinating to watch from the perspective of a fan? like i keep thinking about what it might look like to someone on the outside and i keep coming back to miley’s rebrand and like…i wasn’t a fan of hers before, i didn’t know her music or care about what she was doing, but i was still vaguely aware of her as someone who made music that young kids enjoyed? like i knew she was successful but she wasn’t relevant to my interests? and then her rebrand started and at the time it seemed like all of a sudden EVERYONE was talking about her ALL THE TIME and she was EVERYWHERE and i was just like ‘…..huh’ and it didn’t take more than a couple months for me to consider her an adult musician who makes music for adults. like it wasn’t this big complicated thing where i had to be convinced and won over it just sort of happened, like…without me even noticing it.
and yeah i kind of feel like that’s what’s happening with 1d right now but idk it’s just something i’ve been thinking about a lot the past few days