The launch of Lady Gaga‘s third album, ARTPOP, continues: with events such as a shopping tie-in with retail clothing giant H&M a massive artRave album release party , the chatter of the spectacles and the so-called “flying dress” space suit – early reports indicate that the mega-marketed album is, well, kind of a flop.
So how has ARTPOP performed? The album did debut at number one on the Billboard music charts, with 258,000 in sale and Pitchfork.com provided comparative numbers: 250-300,000 is typical for chart-topping pop stars but Gaga’s previous album, Born This Way sold an astonishing 1.1 million albums in its first week of release.
Theories abound: sales may have been affected by sharing limelight with mega-star Katy Perry, comeback kid Britney Spears, and Disney child gone wild Miley Cyrus. Her songs are not as strong as before, her dress is not as shocking and finally the suggestion that she is overexposed. Will these ho-hum sales be a blip for Gaga, or a slide down from Olympus?
THE PR VERDICT: “D” (PR Problematic) for Lady Gaga.
THE PR TAKEAWAY: Ride out the rough times. With innovation comes imitators; at first, outrageous Gaga was considered an innovator by those too young to remember Madonna’s cone bra. Those falling from great heights should refrain from public panicked gestures that signal flailing, such as Gaga recently firing her longtime manager. Carry on as planned and ride out the storm. After all, Madonna’s still around, isn’t she?