U2 Endorsement: The "Corporate" Kiss Of Death?

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jick

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U2 Endorsement: The "Corporate" Kiss Of Death?
« on: March 11, 2023, 07:09:41 PM »
U2 endorsed Apple for the iPod in 2004, coming along with a U2 Edition iPod Classic music player.  In 2007, Apple made their last classic and shortly thereafter discontinued the Nano and the Shuffle.

U2 then took support from Apple's rival Blackberry in 2009 for their massive 360 Tour.  Shortly after the tour was winding down in 2013, Blackberry was for sale and layed off 4,500 employees.

Around that time, U2 supported Bono and Ali's passion project - clothing line Edun made in Africa.  Even some U2 merchandise were made there.  Over the years, Edun was been in the red, getting investors to pump in more money and loans, and is virtually non-existent today - or at least zero presence in U2.com's stores.

Somewhere in between all that was the Broadway Spider-Man musical by Bono and The Edge.  I don't even want to get there in detail but we all knew what happened, it was dead in the water before it even began.

U2 returned to Apple's arms in 2014 with their release of Songs of Innocence.  It dropped on Apple's iTunes platform to the millions of users.  Bono said the music industry was broken and that U2 would work with Apple on a new music format for the new generation and technology moving forward.  Not long after, it was iTunes that got broken and made obsolete and that platform no longer exists today.  U2's follow-up album was released in the traditional formats.

For the past decade or so, there was been a rapid growth in interest and sales of Funko Pop figures -but U2 never took part of that.  The sales grew even higher during the COVID pandemic when people were stuck home and chose to use their discretionary funds on collectibles and similar items you can just keep home.  U2 finally joined the Funko POP bandwagon last year with Achtung Baby figures in time to Black Friday sales.  Right after Christmas, U2 Funko Pops were bargain bin fodder and it was really because the company was in dire straits.  News just came out last year that over $30 million worth of Funko Pop figures are headed to the landfill as the company deals with losses and inventory issues.

U2 have built the reputation and charm as the band keeping the same four members for nearly four decades.  Now, the band will play a series of shows without their founding member on an arena that has not yet been completed but is already bleeding cash and many red flags which the press have called a looming disaster.  The MSG Sphere owner, James Dolan, has a bad reputation as a sports team owner - just as the New York Knicks fans.  Artists going into "dynamic ticket pricing" like Springsteen have gotten a lot of flack and the U2 member who was most vocal against scalpers and ticket prices - Larry Mullen Jr (see his awards show ticket apology rant during the Vertigo Tour era) - is not with the band for these series of shows.  The shows were announced in Superbowl TV - the same venue where U2 released Invisibile as a single but it did not exactly tear up the charts.

Meanwhile, Adam Clayton just endorsed and put his signature on a Fender Signature Bass amp.  Fender has seen a resurgence in guitar sales during the pandemic, but it was on acoustic guitars and mostly to women.  Bass guitars are not in the top of the pie, and bass amps even less.   It is also an underpowered (50-watt) amp in a configuration (tube) that Fender has not even dared to release in the last 40 years.  Adam Clayton will also never belong to "most popular" or "most technically gifted" lists of bass players - let alone bass amp endorsers. Moreover, Fender has detailed its challenges in doing well in the Europe market.  Did I even mention Adam Clayton is a European?

It seems U2 is late to the pandemic-induced party where collectibles in the form of "manufactured scarcity" were the hit.  Now it seems no one cares about that, but U2 is gung-ho on making variations of their Songs of Surrender album in every conceivable color possible and dubbing each as "limited edition."  Could this be a case of riding the trend too late?  Will this be similar to Funko where so much inventory is left of their colored LP's?

Will the MSG Sphere even take off or is it already doomed even before it started just like the Spider-Man musical?  While Adam Clayton endorsing a bass amp won't move the needle in Fender's sales or losses - could it perhaps represent a "U2 kiss of death" that means that company might be in for trouble like Edun and Blackberry, or could it close its bass division like Apple close iTunes?

All of these might be purely coincidental about U2's "kiss of death."  But when has a company ever invested in U2 and gotten that return of investment back a thousandfold?  It seems only U2 themselves make the money and the companies that pay for them are bled dry.

Cheers,

J
« Last Edit: March 12, 2023, 12:34:36 AM by jick »

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So Cruel

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Re: U2 Endorsement: The Kiss Of Death?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2023, 07:48:19 PM »
Interesting observations. The big problem with U2 is even though they have a huge fanbase they also have a large segment of people who absolutely hate them and Bono in particular. This goes back to the 80's and 90's. I have 3 older brothers and 1 of them hated U2, and it was mostly because of Bono. Some of brothers friends also hated U2 back then. They'd always ask me how I liked that band. They found Bono to be a pompous self righteous asshole. It only got worse as Bono got into debt relief and was hanging around politicians and the mega rich. In the 90's my brother spotted a t-shirt in a local record store that said "Kill Bono". That's how bad the hate for him was.

So if you want to bring in U2 for endorsements, there's a large segment of the population who will want nothing to do with that endorsement. The Sphere is a set of shows and any cost over runs or financial difficulties can't really be attributed to U2 though.
Talk U2 2023 Awards

WINNER - THE ADAM CLAYTON WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO ON A BENDER WITH AWARD

WINNER - THE DAVID LEE ROTH BEST USE OF A MEME/GIF AWARD

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Loyal Deserter

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Re: U2 Endorsement: The Kiss Of Death?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2023, 07:51:19 PM »
My take is

nah

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Soloyan

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Re: U2 Endorsement: The Kiss Of Death?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2023, 08:05:55 PM »
I think Apple is just fine.

By the way, iTunes still exists.
A dangerous idea that almost makes sense...

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wons

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Re: U2 Endorsement: The Kiss Of Death?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2023, 08:12:22 PM »
U2 endorsed Apple for the iPod in 2004, coming along with a U2 Edition iPod Classic music player.  In 2007, Apple made their last classic and shortly thereafter discontinued the Nano and the Shuffle.

U2 then took support from Apple's rival Blackberry in 2009 for their massive 360 Tour.  Shortly after the tour was winding down in 2013, Blackberry was for sale and layed off 4,500 employees.

Around that time, U2 supported Bono and Ali's passion project - clothing line Edun made in Africa.  Even some U2 merchandise were made there.  Over the years, Edun was been in the red, getting investors to pump in more money and loans, and is virtually non-existent today - or at least zero presence in U2.com's stores.

Somewhere in between all that was the Broadway Spider-Man musical by Bono and The Edge.  I don't even want to get there in detail but we all knew what happened, it was dead in the water before it even began.

U2 returned to Apple's arms in 2014 with their release of Songs of Innocence.  It dropped on Apple's iTunes platform to the millions of users.  Bono said the music industry was broken and that U2 would work with Apple on a new music format for the new generation and technology moving forward.  Not long after, it was iTunes that got broken and made obsolete and that platform no longer exists today.  U2's follow-up album was released in the traditional formats.

For the past decade or so, there was been a rapid growth in interest and sales of Funko Pop figures -but U2 never took part of that.  The sales grew even higher during the COVID pandemic when people were stuck home and chose to use their discretionary funds on collectibles and similar items you can just keep home.  U2 finally joined the Funko POP bandwagon last year with Achtung Baby figures in time to Black Friday sales.  Right after Christmas, U2 Funko Pops were bargain bin fodder and it was really because the company was in dire straits.  News just came out last year that over $30 million worth of Funko Pop figures are headed to the landfill as the company deals with losses and inventory issues.

U2 have built the reputation and charm as the band keeping the same four members for nearly four decades.  Now, the band will play a series of shows without their founding member on an arena that has not yet been completed but is already bleeding cash and many red flags which the press have called a looming disaster.  The MSG Sphere owner, James Dolan, has a bad reputation as a sports team owner - just as the New York Knicks fans.  Artists going into "dynamic ticket pricing" like Springsteen have gotten a lot of flack and the U2 member who was most vocal against scalpers and ticket prices - Larry Mullen Jr (see his awards show ticket apology rant during the Vertigo Tour era) - is not with the band for these series of shows.  The shows were announced in Superbowl TV - the same venue where U2 released Invisibile as a single but it did not exactly tear up the charts.

Meanwhile, Adam Clayton just endorsed and put his signature on a Fender Signature Bass amp.  Fender has seen a resurgence in guitar sales during the pandemic, but it was on acoustic guitars and mostly to women.  Bass guitars are not in the top of the pie, and bass amps even less.   It is also an underpowered (50-watt) amp in a configuration (tube) that Fender has not even dared to release in the last 40 years.  Adam Clayton will also never belong to "most popular" or "most technically gifted" lists of bass players - let alone bass amp endorsers. Moreover, Fender has detailed its challenges in doing well in the Europe market.  Did I even mention Adam Clayton is a European?

It seems U2 is late to the pandemic-induced party where collectibles in the form of "manufactured scarcity" were the hit.  Now it seems no one cares about that, but U2 is gung-ho on making variations of their Songs of Surrender album in every conceivable color possible and dubbing each as "limited edition."  Could this be a case of riding the trend too late?  Will this be similar to Funko where so much inventory is left of their colored LP's?

Will the MSG Sphere even take off or is it already doomed even before it started just like the Spider-Man musical?  While Adam Clayton endorsing a bass amp won't move the needle in Fender's sales or losses - could it perhaps represent a "U2 kiss of death" that means that company might be in for trouble like Edun and Blackberry, or could it close its bass division like Apple close iTunes?

All of these might be purely coincidental about U2's "kiss of death."  But when has a company ever invested in U2 and gotten that return of investment back a thousandfold?  It seems only U2 themselves make the money and the companies that pay for them are bled dry.

Cheers,

J

U2's strength is in the music business and its in selling concert tickets and albums. That is where they have made their money and they are one of the top selling music artists of all time when it comes to concert tickets and albums. There are very few music artist that can compete with their grand totals.

So if U2 endorsing a product does not do well in the market, then its likely that any music artist endorsement would not of produced strong business.

The product or service will rise or fall based on its basic utility and popularity among the public. The endorsement won't make or break the product.

Wendy's is not going to overtake McDonalds in sales just because they get a product endorsement from Kim Kardashian.

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Loyal Deserter

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Re: U2 Endorsement: The Kiss Of Death?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2023, 08:20:37 PM »
btw that article on the MSG Sphere says U2 haven't had a hit since the 90s.

Objectively false, but... based.

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laoghaire

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Re: U2 Endorsement: The Kiss Of Death?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2023, 09:08:31 PM »
My take is

nah

^^^

But keep em coming, jick.

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MPare1966

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Re: U2 Endorsement: The Kiss Of Death?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2023, 09:46:02 PM »
Jick, buddy, what killed the ipods and the Blackberry was not U2. It was a little device called the iphone, created by Apple. They sold gazillions of them, did you know? And the company’s doing fine, judging by the profits they’re posting. Hardly a kiss of death.  ::)
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jick

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Re: U2 Endorsement: The Kiss Of Death?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2023, 12:42:19 AM »
So if you want to bring in U2 for endorsements, there's a large segment of the population who will want nothing to do with that endorsement. The Sphere is a set of shows and any cost over runs or financial difficulties can't really be attributed to U2 though.

I am not referring to the current financial difficulties, but theorizing that the whole launch or the opening/operations of the venue might get the U2 kiss and eventually fail.

Jick, buddy, what killed the ipods and the Blackberry was not U2. It was a little device called the iphone, created by Apple. They sold gazillions of them, did you know? And the company’s doing fine, judging by the profits they’re posting. Hardly a kiss of death.  ::)

I never implied U2's endorsement (iPod) or them (Blackberry) sponsoring a tour was a direct cause.  I meant "kiss of death" more as "jinx."

btw that article on the MSG Sphere says U2 haven't had a hit since the 90s.

Objectively false, but... based.

It wasn't really U2 .. the Theme From Mission Impossible made it to #11 in the Billoard charts in the 90's.  I guess you'd have to go to the 1980's when U2 last had a Billboard #1 single with I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.


Seems like you’d have to factor Bono’s & U2’s sponsorship of AIDS treatment funding, supporting live feeds from Sarajevo, and other humanitarian causes into a second column on your spreadsheet titled U2’s Kiss of Life since it seems like he/they may have saved some lives through their efforts. 

If U2 really did sponsor AIDS treatment out-of-pocket (which I doubt is the case), that is not considered "endorsement" in the sense of the points I am driving up here.  I am talking about scenarios were U2 gets paid or at least some sort of consideration, and not U2 giving out of their own liberality or freely using their influence to support a cause.

Cheers,

J

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Re: U2 Endorsement: The Kiss Of Death?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2023, 08:38:59 AM »

Jick, buddy, what killed the ipods and the Blackberry was not U2. It was a little device called the iphone, created by Apple. They sold gazillions of them, did you know? And the company’s doing fine, judging by the profits they’re posting. Hardly a kiss of death.  ::)

I never implied U2's endorsement (iPod) or them (Blackberry) sponsoring a tour was a direct cause.  I meant "kiss of death" more as "jinx."


There was no “jinx” either. These products simply got surpassed by better technology.
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wons

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Re: U2 Endorsement: The Kiss Of Death?
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2023, 09:57:41 AM »
So if you want to bring in U2 for endorsements, there's a large segment of the population who will want nothing to do with that endorsement. The Sphere is a set of shows and any cost over runs or financial difficulties can't really be attributed to U2 though.

I am not referring to the current financial difficulties, but theorizing that the whole launch or the opening/operations of the venue might get the U2 kiss and eventually fail.

Jick, buddy, what killed the ipods and the Blackberry was not U2. It was a little device called the iphone, created by Apple. They sold gazillions of them, did you know? And the company’s doing fine, judging by the profits they’re posting. Hardly a kiss of death.  ::)

I never implied U2's endorsement (iPod) or them (Blackberry) sponsoring a tour was a direct cause.  I meant "kiss of death" more as "jinx."

btw that article on the MSG Sphere says U2 haven't had a hit since the 90s.

Objectively false, but... based.

It wasn't really U2 .. the Theme From Mission Impossible made it to #11 in the Billoard charts in the 90's.  I guess you'd have to go to the 1980's when U2 last had a Billboard #1 single with I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.


If your definition of having a "hit" is being at #1 on the HOT 100 Billboard chart, then U2 has only had two "hits".

In reality, their last hit song in the United States was "Vertigo" back in 2004/2005.

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Re: U2 Endorsement: The Kiss Of Death?
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2023, 01:51:19 PM »

Seems like you’d have to factor Bono’s & U2’s sponsorship of AIDS treatment funding, supporting live feeds from Sarajevo, and other humanitarian causes into a second column on your spreadsheet titled U2’s Kiss of Life since it seems like he/they may have saved some lives through their efforts. 

If U2 really did sponsor AIDS treatment out-of-pocket (which I doubt is the case), that is not considered "endorsement" in the sense of the points I am driving up here.  I am talking about scenarios were U2 gets paid or at least some sort of consideration, and not U2 giving out of their own liberality or freely using their influence to support a cause.

Cheers,

J

Right.  So, selectively choosing a small slice of evidence to force support of a wobbly thesis by ignoring the totality of applications of energy, time, and assets.  You’ve left out any number of the band’s efforts along with successes to create a false narrative.
[/quote]

Wow.

How can you possibly write off a fellas opinion by calling it a ‘false narrative’?

Just wow.
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laoghaire

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Re: U2 Endorsement: The "Corporate" Kiss Of Death?
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2023, 10:46:55 AM »
If nobody fixes the quote issue in the next reply, I’m reporting you all to Martin.

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Re: U2 Endorsement: The "Corporate" Kiss Of Death?
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2023, 11:13:03 AM »
U2 is still lightweight when compared to groups like Metallica. Once we see a U2 turntable, cocktail kit, skateboard, and doormat, then I'll begin to worry.

The band's real issue is that they latch onto technology without using it effectively. I bought a used U2 iPod and had it for years; it was cool but something only hardcore fans would care about. The SOI launch was an attempt to gift music but done poorly and invasively, effectively killing the goodwill they would have procured had they simply made it available as a free download instead of forcing it into people's libraries. They take good concepts and manage to bungle the execution.

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Re: U2 Endorsement: The "Corporate" Kiss Of Death?
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2023, 01:52:01 PM »
If nobody fixes the quote issue in the next reply, I’m reporting you all to Martin.

I hear you.

It’s really annoying.
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