Publicity and Brand-Building: How a TV Show Altered My Opinion of a Popular Band

Have you ever changed your mind about a product after you’ve actually used it? Have you ever formed a negative opinion about a company or a person and then realized that you were wrong?

That’s what happened to me after watching NBC’s The Voice; I formed a new opinion of the band Maroon 5 and its lead singer, Adam Levine. The band has been on the radio with #1 hits for years now, and I used to enjoy their music—but honestly, I was growing more and more tired of Adam Levine’s voice. He has a higher-pitched sound than most men do, and I’d heard him sing the same songs over and over, so I was pretty much annoyed with their songs. I got to the point that, when their songs came on the radio, I started changing the station.

NBC's music competition show, The Voice

NBC's music competition show, The Voice

Now just so it’s clear—I love music and I normally don’t get tired of hearing certain songs played time and time again. I adore many genres and have a vast music collection, so one of my all-time favorite shows is American Idol. And when I heard about the new NBC show coming out that was all about finding a new music star, I was excited to watch and immediately set up my DVR accordingly. Adam Levine was going to be one of the four judges, so I wondered if I would like the show—but since it was a music competition show, like American Idol, I wanted to check it out. Both shows hold auditions and choose some contestants to continue on, but the sweet difference with The Voice is that during the first audition, the judges are turned away from the stage, so the judges cannot see the singers…they can only hear their voices. What a cool concept, right? After that first audition show I tuned in weekly and loved it, as I thought that I might.

Over the weeks of watching the show, I saw how hard these four judges worked. All of the judges have their own music careers and busy schedules, but they were taking time out to mentor and judge these young and talented people. Adam Levine surprised me most. He was an excellent leader and led his team throughout the show’s first season. And ultimately, it was Javier Colon from Adam’s team that took home the title, The Voice. It was Adam’s dedication and love for the music industry that helped Javier become the show’s winner and allow him to begin building his music career.

Adam Levine of Maroon 5

Adam's knowledge earned him credibility.

What does this have to do with brand-building? As you might guess, I learned to love Adam Levine through watching The Voice. I grew to appreciate him as a very caring, genuine, and unique artist, and began to once again love Maroon 5 songs. In a way, his presence on the show gained him some positive publicity because he demonstrated his knowledge and earned some credibility within his industry.

I also realized through watching this TV show (and seeing how my appreciation for Adam Levine and Maroon 5 grew over the season) that businesses can adopt some of the same tactics to regain customers and attract lost business. Now, I’m not saying that everyone was previously annoyed by Adam’s voice and had their minds changed by the positive publicity…but hey, it happened to me and he sure got his fan back!

If you’re struggling with your image, it’s important to find a way to get good publicity and maybe even establish yourself as an expert in the process. Need some ideas to get you there? Check out Jana’s recent interview with an employee of WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) to get your feet wet. Also, you may want to read more about creative marketing techniques. Both articles give businesses some great tips on how to shake things up marketing-wise and stand out among competitors. Sometimes, that’s what a business (or a musician) needs—something new, something updated, or something different. Change it up and you might just see your sales and business skyrocket! (Don’t forget to thank Mr. Levine for the help too. He is a genius for taking a chance on this new show, isn’t he? He’ll be back for a second season too, so stay tuned).

What do you make of Adam Levine becoming a judge on The Voice? Did you catch any of the episodes, and if so, what did you think? What else can businesses learn from this example, regarding publicity, brand-building, or something completely different?


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  1. amy

    Excellent post Amanda!! I loved watching this season of The Voice and can’t wait for it to come back this winter 😀

    It’s funny that you felt this way about Adam Levine because I sort of felt that way about Cee Lo. Based on his songs and music videos I was expecting this diva who would be more annoying to watch than anything. However, like you I was pleasantly surprised by the reality of him being so nice and down-to-earth.

    I had this same issue with the grocery store ALDI. At first I didn’t like them because I thought their products were the “leftovers” from other national grocery stores, but once I started shopping there on a regular basis I love them!! They offer great products at great deals, plus their produce is some of the freshest around. Both times my preconceived ideas have been wrong, but it’s always worked out for the better 🙂

    • Amanda

      Same here–I think it was a great show! I like how it’s different from other singing shows. I can see what you’re saying about Cee Lo–I was surprised by how professional and genuine he was too! And yes, ALDI, it took me a while to get used to shopping there, but I love it now too!

  2. Michelle

    I really enjoyed this show as well! I am a HUGE Maroon 5 and Adam Levine fan! I watched the show not only because it looked entertaining but mainly because I knew he was going to be on it. I’m glad you are back on the Adam Levine band wagon. I might be biased, but I agree with you in that he was a fantastic judge. It really showed how much time and effort he gave to his team. Nice post Amanda! 🙂

    • Amanda

      Thanks Michelle! Adam was an awesome coach–I gained so much respect for him! Can’t wait for season 2!

  3. JPorretto

    I’ll answer your second question here: “Have you ever formed a negative opinion about a company or a person and then realized that you were wrong?”

    Justin Timberlake.

    I once wanted to kick him in the back of his stupid poodle cut head. Now I’d say he’s at least tolerable. That’s a huge jump in my book! It’s amazing how much more respect you get just by getting a hair cut and separating yourself from a boy band =)

    • Rachel

      Hah, I totally talked about Justin Timberlake in my comment below before reading yours! I guess he’s really made an impact on people. 🙂

    • Amanda

      Good example Jeff. JT has gained a lot of respect from people since leaving N’Sync it sounds like.

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      You haters. N Sync was amazing.

  4. Jana Quinn

    Great post topic, Amanda! I liked what you said about learning (and liking) more about Adam Levine as a person making you like his product (his voice/band/songs) more. I think all marketers can take away that “brand humanization” strategy from the show.

    What does your About Us page look like? How many humans does one of your customers interact with? Do your customers know their reps’ names? How is the feedback rating? These are all important things to consider when building relationships with clients by having real people represent the company.

    • Amanda

      Good points Jana! Adam made a big impression on me with Season 1 of The Voice….it made me have so much appreciation for Maroon Five–Adam is so talented!

  5. Rachel

    I’ve watched maybe 20 minutes total of “The Voice,” but it’s strange that I had a similar reaction to Adam Levine! I enjoy Maroon 5 occasionally, but for whatever reason, I had a weirdly negative opinion of Levine–still not sure why, but I just perceived him as a kind of standoffish person. Anyway, what little I’ve seen of “The Voice” got me warming up to him. You’re right; this show gave him the opportunity to establish himself and his talents and convince Negative Nancys like us that he’s a likeable guy. 🙂

    It’s a strategy I think a lot of celebrities use when trying to go against their “type” or otherwise try to appeal to different audiences. I know that Justin Timberlake’s appearances on SNL, for instance, completely changed my opinion of him. I was a big *NSYNC fangirl back in the day, but never liked the music he did on his own and had started to not care about him anymore. But he was hilarious on SNL–repeatedly! I now enjoy him as an actor, even though I still don’t like his music. So he managed to keep me as a customer and has attracted a lot of new ones, thereby expanding his audience, kind of like Adam Levine. And it’s definitely something businesses can keep in mind as a strategy, too!

    Thanks for the great post, Amanda!

    • Amanda

      It’s a good show–maybe you will be able to watch more once Season 2 is on. Adam cared so much about his team, and was such a likeable guy–I couldn’t help but like him. =) I’ve seen a couple of JT’s SNL skits, and he was funny! Good call! I loved NSync back then too–but JT has matured so much. It’s nice that he didn’t fade out.

    • Jill Tooley

      I love, love, LOVE Justin Timberlake! I was also an ‘N Sync fangirl way back when, and even though JT wasn’t my “main man” I always liked him a lot. It’s awesome to see him still in the spotlight – both in movies and in music. He really deserves all the attention he gets; he’s a good person and he’s worked his ass off to get where he is today. It’s no easy feat these days to gain credibility after being in a boy band! 🙂

      Oh, and AGREED on his SNL performances! Every one he’s hosted has been amazing. Did you see the one of him as the Target lady’s (Kristen Wiig) friend Peg? Cracks me up every time!

  6. Joseph Giorgi

    “If you’re struggling with your image, it’s important to find a way to get good publicity and maybe even establish yourself as an expert in the process.”

    Very true! Of course, whether you’re a celebrity or a business owner, turning a bad image into a good one is probably one of the most difficult things in the world to do. You have to be willing to go the extra mile for your fan base (or your customer base).

    I like comparison you make between Adam Levine’s effective self-promotion on “The Voice” and effective business promotion in general. Proving yourself to be an expert (whether it’s in music or in business) is no easy task, but this is a good example of how it’s possible to do just that!

    Great post, Amanda! 🙂

    • Amanda

      Thanks Joe! I agree-it’s so hard for some businesses/artists to turn around negative publicity, but it can be done. Adam did a fine job, and represented himself very well. I think he gained so much respect from taking on this project! And honestly, The Voice should thank him too…since it was their first season, choosing bad coaches could have let the show down–so props to them too.

  7. Jill Tooley

    I have a confession to make: I shut off Maroon 5 anytime they ever come on the radio or on TV. HOWEVER, it’s super that you wrote this post because now they don’t aggravate me nearly as much (well, their music still does, but after learning more about Adam Levine I’ve decided that maybe they’re not obnoxious people like I originally thought). You’re absolutely right – it truly seems like he worked hard on The Voice and proved himself as a musician while he was at it. Anyone who works that hard for someone they barely know can’t be a bad person in my book! 🙂

    I wonder who they’ll get to judge next year? Maybe there will be more artists that’ll surprise us…

    • Amanda

      That’s so funny! I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that was annoyed by them. But yes, Adam made a HUGE comeback for me on The Voice.

      From what I’ve heard–all four judges are coming back for the second season. Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton. Which I’m super happy about–they all did a great job!

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