By: Grace Meyer
Celebrities take to social media to promote songs all the time, why was “Yummy” different?
In early January 2020, the radio waves were graced with Canadian Pop Sensation Justin Bieber’s song “Yummy”. A song about his wife, model Hailey Baldwin, describes her as “yummy” too many times to count. And although I am not going to be talking at length about the song itself, it’s important to note that it does get a little repetitive – and we’re not just talking about the lyrics.
“Yummy” was the comeback song to welcome Bieber back into the music scene after taking time off and canceling the Purpose tour in 2017. Bieber took this time off to better himself mentally before announcing a new phase of music on Instagram and YouTube posting “Bieber 2020”. This is just the start of a tidal wave of promotion that followed.
When I see celebrity utilizing their social media as a means for promotion, I always see the same things: a few posts to their Instagram and Twitter accounts, story updates, and even following those who are following and promoting the artist as well. We see this commonly with artists. It’s hard to miss because it takes up their feed, but we only see it for a short time before the release and a week or so afterward. In Bieber’s case, we find that he and his team used the opposite strategy.
Littered in a cluster, posts for “Yummy” are posted on his Instagram. With almost no change between the post itself, it caused some confusion to those scrolling through their timelines. When the song dropped, Bieber and his team pushed promotion so heavily that it seemed desperate. Sure, Bieber wanted the song to be at number one on Billboard’s Hot 100, but how far is too far?
After the release of the song, quickly seven videos were uploaded to Bieber’s YouTube page. Videos aside from the original music video and the lyric video included two animated versions, a “Belieber’s React” version, a “food fight” version, and a fan lip-sync version of the song. These may have been because of Billboard’s recently made rule of counting YouTube streams on Billboard album charts, but the promotion doesn’t stop there. Bieber’s team started a TikTok dance challenge using the song and even brought the man himself to upload his first TikTok video. Aside from that, his team also created a Pac Man parody game that includes links to stream and purchases the song on your preferred music app. Bieber’s team posted, and later deleted, a slightly sketchy Instagram post showing how fans can help get the song to number one. This post asked people to continuously play the song, buying the song multiple times, and even asked international listeners to use a VPN to get streams.
With all of this, you may be asking yourself, “What’s so wrong with these promotion tactics?” Well, one point is that his fanbase consists of 60% of females that are between the ages of 13-34. Those who are in the younger end of the spectrum are easily influenced by those that they look up to, and having someone like Justin Bieber tell you that you’re “doing the world a favor” for purchasing his song more than once is manipulation at its finest. Another thing wrong with this is that it all seems desperate. A comeback should be genuine, regardless of how good the song is, and Bieber and his team are doing the online equivalent to begging with all of this unnecessary promotion. Sure, every artist wants their song to be number one, but using manipulation and what felt like never-ending promotion isn’t the way to go about it.