Radio Creme BruleeWas Gary Barlow's recent video shoot for "Let Me Go" in Brooklyn a lost opportunity?
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Was Gary Barlow’s recent video shoot for “Let Me Go” in Brooklyn a lost opportunity?

28 August 2013 33 Comments
This blog belongs to Radio Creme Brulee – an internet music radio station that broadcasts globally.

This blog is affiliated with Radio Creme Brulee – an internet music radio station that broadcasts globally.

garybarlowRelative obscurity for an artist in a country is not such a bad thing. It allows these artists an escape from the mass hysteria that envelopes them in the parts of the world where they are insanely famous. This escape must be quite liberating for them – but sometimes they tend to overlook the opportunities in countries where they are not particularly well-known.

Thanks to American terrestrial radio’s incredibly limited and geocentric focus, the US in particular has become THE country for many non-American global pop stars that want to enjoy relative anonymity. The list of global sensations that fall into this category is growing. Take That, Robbie Williams, Ronan Keating, Suede, and Kylie Minogue are just a few of the prominent acts. The average American has no idea who any of these musicians are. Needless to say, the odds of any of these folks getting mobbed in the US are slim at best. That being said, all of these artists have fairly large but scattered fanbases in the US. The music connoisseurs that fall in these fanbases are discerning and look beyond the limited confines of terrestrial radio for their music. Unfortunately, they also feel a sense of alienation since they rarely ever get to see these artists (who very often are their favorites) or bands locally at a concert. Instead, they have to settle for the joke that the American music scene is and that the recent MTV Video Music Awards practically epitomized. There is no domestic community experience revolving around this music community’s appreciation or admiration. The same fan communities are significantly larger overseas and share a much more exciting dynamic.

What many artists and bands forget is the importance of communities contributing to the size of a musician’s footprint in a specific country or location. Nurturing communities around your fanbase can be a great way of establishing a foothold in a country where the terrestrial radio dynamic is your biggest enemy. Manchester quintet Take That should know this better than any other act in the world. Their comeback against all odds in 2006 is undoubtedly the biggest comeback in music history – and yet they are unknown entities in America’s mainstream. The tweet below by a Brooklyn resident illustrates this the best.

 

GaryTweet

This serves as the perfect bridge to the purpose of this post. It relates to a video shoot in Brooklyn,NY on August 27, 2013. The video was for the new single “Let Me Go” by Take That’s frontman and creative core Gary Barlow. He chose to shoot his video in a residential part of Brooklyn,NY. A relatively low-profile casting call was made for “extras” for the video. The location of the shoot was not disclosed until the night before the shoot. Furthermore, the “extras” were asked to keep the location secret. The few extras that happened to be Take That fans were generous in sharing their experience through a series of tweets – which also included photos with the incredibly talented pop star Gary Barlow. Plenty of American fans (me included) had no idea where the shoot was – even though we were probably just a half-hour commute away. Massive crowds were not a legitimate concern given that Take That and Gary Barlow are not known in the US. Hence, crowd control should not been an issue in this case. For some reason, local American Take That fans were shut out from an event that they could have only dreamed of. The video shoot could have been a fantastic opportunity for a local fan meetup that included Mr. Barlow. A critical mass of die-hard American fans would definitely get the attention of the press and people around and trigger a curiosity in Take That and their catalog. The event could have also nurtured the community aspect of Take That’s fanbase. It is not clear why none of this was considered. No special investment would have been needed for the event. In a nutshell, it would have been a zero dollar investment with a great potential for reward. Yet, it was overlooked. There is value in loyal fans and artists have to do very little to nurture that loyalty – especially in a country where access to that artist is a scarcity. There is truth in the statement that scarcity induces value – and this value absolutely should be capitalized on.

I personally do not blame Gary Barlow for this since it is highly unlikely that any of this was his idea. His management or publicity firm should have known better and leveraged this opportunity. For the precious few that enjoyed the video shoot, the experience must have been amazing but one cannot help but think that it was a lost opportunity for fans and for Gary Barlow.
For those that were at this event, please feel free to comment and share anything you can from the shoot – your thoughts on the song, odd questions that you got from people that passed by, the vibe of the video – anything at all.

RADIO ALERT: We might be one of the few American radio stations that plays Take That‘s music regularly. We are definitely the ONLY radio station in the world that plays the rarer album tracks and b-sides by Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams, and Mark Owen regularly. IF you are reading this on a mobile device (smartphone, tablet etc.), CLICK HERE to listen to our radio station. If not, listen to our station from ANY part of the world by clicking on the button below.


33 Responses to "Was Gary Barlow’s recent video shoot for “Let Me Go” in Brooklyn a lost opportunity?"

  1. mily says:

    I appreciate your good intention in writing this article and, although I’m not an American (nor UK resident), I do want to see Gary and Take That succeed over there as well. But I don’t believe this would have been a good moment for Gary to draw any media attention on himself.Nobody knows how his album and single will do – I hope they are the smash hits they deserve to be, but you can never be sure, considering the music stage nowadays (quality does not always triumph over popularity and commercial value)- and this is the first solo album Gary has put out in over a decade. He must be feeling a terrible pressure in releasing this, even in UK, never mind drawing the US media attention on himself. If it weren’t his first solo album in years or if it were a Take That album, that usually does well, I would have totally agreed with your reasoning, but, considering the context and Gary’s history, I do believe that the best decision was made for him. The first step that needs to happen is that Gary has success in UK with his album; only then can we begin to contemplate how to make him famous over seas too. There are lots of European and non-European countries that are not getting the chance of seeing these artists either; it’s not something typically American. As long as we can enjoy their music one way or another, the rest is just bonus.

  2. G.A. says:

    I honestly believe that Gary will do well with his new single and album. He is quite popular at the moment. Can’t wait to hear his new stuff!

  3. admin says:

    @mily: Thanks so much for the comment. I wasn’t thinking in terms of drawing attention to Gary specifically or his new material.I figured that a community event would have encouraged folks to dig into Take That’s back-catalog. It might also inspire people here in the US to look beyond the same 10 songs that get played on the hour every hour on terrestrial American radio. Take That is just the largest symptom of a problem here in the US that results in playlist programmers not looking beyond their borders for music. Rumors indicate that the airplay for The Wanted and One Direction was “bankrolled” (I am sure we all know what really means!). I was not counting on any new fame for Gary here in the US based on new material. Just interest based on his back-catalog (both solo and with Take That).

  4. @GA: I hope the Gary Barlow material does well too. It would be nice to see him shine in the solo spotlight again.

  5. Jane says:

    Hi. I’m from England and a huge fan of Gary Barlow and Take That. I just wanted to let those that are interested know that Gary has done some solo concerts over the last couple of years and they have been very well received. In light of this, I believe Gary will have the best response to his solo work ever. He also had a lot of solo exposure here last year when the Queen commissioned him along with Andrew Lloyd Webber to write a song about the Commonwealth in celebration of her diamond jubilee as queen. He was also heavily involved in arranging a concert that was held outside Buckingham Palace. Needless to say, he was awarded an O.B.E last year. The point I’m trying to make is that as far as the UK is concerned, I doubt if there isn’t a person who hasn’t heard of him by now. Anyway, just thought you might enjoy a viewpoint from this side of the pond!

  6. @Jane: I have no doubt that Gary Barlow is a household name in the UK. I am actually well aware of his solo shows. It is nice that he has won his confidence back after taking quite a beating in the late 90s professionally. We actually featured “Sing” by Gary Barlow on high-rotation soon after it released. We just wish the British music scene was a bigger component of our domestic music scene here in the US. Our Video Music Awards this year were quite a reflection of our lousy music scene. We need acts like Take That and Gary Barlow to put some respectability back into the American musical mainstream.

  7. Francés says:

    The point is: HE doesn’t want to be recognized in the USA because he can walk freely without paparazzis or crazy fans stalking him. He can have a nice quiet vacation and go unnoticed. And it’s probably better for him. American music market is shite anyways

  8. @Francés: Thanks for your comment. the American music market is lousy. There is no doubt about that. Doing a small event for fans would not ever send Gary Barlow into a state where he is hounded by the paparazzi. He would need repeated and sustained mainstream coverage for that to happen. Since the US seems hell-bent on not doing that, he is at no risk in the near future of getting mobbed. But that being said, he can still build a small following that at least makes Take That somewhat viable in the US – even if it is just for the musical elite.

  9. Marie says:

    Like Francés says, Gary doesn’t want to be recognized in the US, and the same goes with the band. I am really tired of listening to Americans say they feel left out because TT doesn’t get the recognition they deserve in their country. The same happens in Southamerica, Asia, Australia and several countries in Europe. We ALL want TT to be played in our local radios and we’d ALL love to have them performing live or just promoting their albums. It’s pretty obvious that the chances of succeeding globaly are increased once you succeeded in the US, but not every artist want that. This second time around the band has control in pretty much everything when it comes to releasing an album and promoting it, so if they don’t promote it outside of the usual European countries it’s because they have absolute no interest in becoming big somewhere else.
    And about “We are definitely the ONLY radio station in the world that plays the solo material of Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams, and Mark Owen regularly”, sorry to disappoint you but you are wrong about that.

  10. @Marie: Thank you so much for your comment. First, thank you for pointing out an error we made in the way we represented ourselves as being the only station in the world that plays the solo material of Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams, and Mark Owen regularly. What we meant to say is that we are the only ones that play the rarer album tracks by these artists regularly. That actually is true. If that isn’t, please do point us to the stations that do this. We will fix this erroneous statement on our post right away. Doing a fan event revolving around the video shoot will not make Gary ridiculously famous in the US. It will help to build awareness but it won’t bring him or the band the large-scale fame that they have in the UK and Europe. We Americans have come to terms with that. In reality, the lack of TT’s recognition has very little to do with TT’s decision to be famous in America. In the 90s, our mainstream media outlets in the US chose to ignore Take That until “Back for good”. Well, Take That was one of many international acts they chose to ignore. DJs being removed from the programming function probably had a lot to do that with that. There is empirical proof that a band can have a radio hit in a country without ever setting foot in that country. I don’t blame Gary Barlow or Take That for the decisions that they make in terms of geography-specific promotion. They are right in investing time, effort, and money in regions where they have a deep-rooted legacy – and America simply does not fall in that bucket. The reason we cited the video shoot specifically is because it is a zero-investment activity that builds community and shields Gary and the band from getting famous in the US on a large scale. It is a win-win for everyone – well, it could have been. Thanks once again for your comment and please feel free to give our radio station a spin. You just might like what we have to offer.

  11. LaTrenda McMullin says:

    I am a US Resident I live in Birmingham, Alabama and I am a huge Gary Barlow and Take That Fan. I would love for the guys to make it big here. I would love to see them live when they tour but unable but unfortunately said because they won’t consider coming here to America to tour. I feel if they do this they would widen their fan base here in the United States (hopefully they would consider) but for now I would have to wait for a DVD to be release buy it and watch it. But I am a faithful American Thratter.

  12. @LaTrenda: I think the guys missed their big chance in the 90s. It is very difficult to build on a legacy in a country where an entity does not have one. I’ll bet a lot of American music moguls are scratching their heads and wishing they had invested in Take That – given that the Take That reunion was the only truly successful boyband reunion – one that transcended generations. The intention of this post is not to suggest that they come overnight sensations here but to start building a basic level of interest – which could grow organically and without the support of terrestrial radio. Thanks so much for your comment. Just out of curiosity, how did you discover our radio station?

  13. LaTrenda McMullin says:

    Facebook mainly a fan ran page for Gary Barlow fans name Sam Barlow

  14. @LaTrenda: So great to know! We’ve been the lucky beneficiaries of a LOT of patronage from Take That and Gary Barlow fans from across the world. Have you had a chance to listen to our station?

  15. LaTrenda McMullin says:

    Oh yes and I have given it a Rated A for Awesome wonderful job I just love it <3

  16. @LaTrenda: Thanks so much. We truly appreciate the kind words of support. What can we do to make the station better and make it your broadcaster radio alternative of choice? Please feel free to go completely crazy with the suggestions. Thanks once again.

  17. kerry says:

    I reckon it was kept quiet because most of the UK don’t know about it yet and solo Barlow is always going to be a sensitive issue for many TT fans. I think the idea is probably to drip feed the idea and let the news spread slowly. There hasn’t been any official confirmation of any solo material yet. Rumour has it the album will be released in November and features a duet with Elton John apparently.

  18. @kerry: Thanks so much for the comment. A US-centric fan meetup isn’t sufficient for big news blow-up but it does feed into your idea of the news spreading slowly. That is what I was hoping for.

  19. Angel says:

    Hi Radio Creme Brulee!
    As much as I appreciate your blog, a lot of good things have been pointed out in the comments. Take That are a European band, yes the biggest in the world and Gary Barlow is the best songwriter we ever had in Europe. He has, as you know the biggest fanbase in the UK and almost the same big fanbase in Germany. I am from Germany and here we are also very proud of Mr. Barlow and to have Take That and its members, solo or together a lot of times in our country. Maybe you read Gary book My Take?

    He made a very bad experience with the US Market in the late 90s, so did Rob. I don’t think he is interested in any way to do that again. His solo album is coming out on Nov 25th, it’s official now. As you pointed out in your blog, the US industry and unfortunately a lot of American people completely ignore what is going on in Europe. I think we have a different understandig of humour, music, politics…the list wouldn’t end. Take That are famous in Europe and in other countries around the world, but they really don’t need the US.
    Solo Stuff for Gary, if you know his story, is a sensitive thing. I’m sure he is extremely happy about his third solo album, but also very excited and looking forward to the fans reaction.
    I also think he did very well not to promote anything in the US but doing the video quietly without any recognition.
    But nice to hear, you are playing the songs!

  20. @Angel: Thank you so much for your comment. I have actually been meaning to read “My Take” for a while but somehow have not gotten down to it. I might just order it off Amazon today. I have heard it is a pretty quick but good read – and it provides quite an insight into the highs and lows of an international popstar.

    Gary’s success as a solo star will always be tied to his legacy with Take That. In the 90s, Take That was not promoted in the US. Besides, “Back for good”, nothing of theirs was even remotely known in the US. As a result, neither Gary nor Robbie could build off their Take That legacy in the US in the way that they could in the rest of the world. Robbie stood a better chance because of his reinvented sound. Gary, on the other hand, had positioned himself as a balladeer. The late 90s was about the worst time in the US to position yourself as a balladeer. With the absence of a concrete legacy in America, Gary absolutely should not be focusing on promoting himself as a solo artist. I am not even suggesting that Take That spend a ton of money to promote themselves in America at this point in their careers. And as you mentioned, Take That does not need the US. Some of the data about band earnings from a few years ago put Take That in the top ten – and that is WITHOUT any promotional activity in the US. That is quite staggering. It means they did very well overseas.

    But that being said, the US is still the largest consumer market in the world for music – and we do have a large Take That fanbase here. The idea behind this post was to suggest an alternate fan experience. I do believe that artists should reward fans and also take advantage of their relative obscurity in a certain country. Making the video an open affair in New York would have caused no problems in terms of crowds. It would have built awareness of some sort without getting out of hand – and it would have had no incremental cost to Gary or to Take That. It is not about becoming famous. It is about triggering curiosity. Indian movie production sets do exactly that when they shoot song sequences in New York. They make it an open affair and create awareness of their art among foreign audiences. It is free publicity for them and that never hurts.

    In 2008, George Michael went on tour in the US for the first time in 17 years. Radio had stopped playing his music after 1990 – even though he made some fantastic music in the mid-90s and beyond. Touring in Europe caused his net worth to double – and we’re talking about millions of dollars in earning here for George Michael. He knew that touring in the US would not be profitable and yet he did it – and broken even because he wanted to acknowledge his American fans. The Gary Barlow video idea would have cost him absolutely nothing. The “Zero cost” aspect of things is what I was attempting to emphasize through this post. Once again, thank you so much for taking the time to comment on our post.

  21. Angel says:

    Hi Radio Crme Brulee again:
    I really appreciate your engagement, your thoughts and I understand, that you would like some more acknowledgment for the fans or (by making the video shoot more open) to reach some attention for Take That.

    Of course, TT have a fanbase in the US, no doubt. And of course, sometimes it’s hard not to be able to visit a concert.
    BUT: Again: That is not the point. The point is, they don’t need it!!! From your words about Gary positioning himself as a balladeer, it’s obvious, you don’t know anything about his story. Please don’t be angry about my words, but read My Take at first.
    You will find out, what the real reason for the low success of his second album was. He had good songs in his hand, but was totally overtaken by the American producers, who changed everything into something “American”. That was the reason why the album (which isn’t that bad, by the way) failed. Another reason was Robbies success with Angels at the same time. His label dropped him and after that he had the most difficult time of his life. Please read his book, ’cause I can’t explain it to you like the person, who all this is about.

    I’m absolutely sure, Gary is happy as it is now. He and Rob have the opportunity to go to the US without being recognised (The US is the only place in the world where they are not known as celebrities) and that’s -in their position – a very valuable thing.
    It is not about zero costs or something for the video shoot. It is about how valuable even NOT to be recognized is.

    Another thing I would like to tell you. When TT came back in 2006, they were doing the Ultimate Tour, only in the UK. Understandable, because, they didn’t know, if they would be welcomed with open arms. After the big success of that Tour, they made the BW Tour all over Europe. Then “The Circus” Tour, they played again only in the UK, because they couldn’t take the big equipment overseas, not even to Germany or France.
    So here in Europe we are also sometimes not able to watch their concerts live. We have to wait. TT and also Gary have a reason for what they do. Right now, it is to wait and to be excited about the new upcoming albums, solo or together. They developped in an unbelievable way.

    I wish you all the best, more background information and maybe sometimes the opportunity to visit a concert.

  22. @Angel: Thanks so much for the comment. We started Radio Creme Brulee to do more than just showcase music. Our music industry continues to be in a state of turmoil and we wanted to use this blog as an avenue to provoke debate and discussion while also educating casual listeners on music industry dynamics. I am just glad people are commenting and moving the conversation forward. That is a healthy thing in my opinion. I learn plenty from the comments too!

    I think we are all in agreement that Take That don’t need the US for their livelihood. They had a stellar run in the 90s and an even better run post-reunion. They have nothing left to prove and they have been financially remunerated very well.
    It is true that I have not read “My Take” (I really need to!) but I do know his story. His first solo album was largely the brainchild of Music Mogul Clive Davis. Clive Davis was blown away after watching Gary Barlow perform at a world music conference in San Francisco. Davis was largely responsible for the type of production that dominated Gary’s debut solo album. Maybe it was not fair for me to pin that on Gary, but the perception in the eye of the public was that Gary had positioned himself as an “adult contemporary” artist – and sadly, sales are largely driven by perception (something I am not crazy about either!). The term “adult contemporary” also had a very negative connotation in the US at the time “Open Road” was released. Thanks to limited programming on terrestrial radio, adult contemporary was a dying genre in the American mainstream – and to build a new audience in that sphere was next to impossible at the time. (unless the artist was a country artist). I actually liked “Open Road” a lot. I also like a bunch of the songs from the second album. We play a lot of material from both albums – and not just the singles. Gary acknowledges in the 2006 documentary that his music was more of the same. It was not a reinvention by any stretch – and regardless of how good the material is, it makes a solo transition harder.

    I agree that the relative obscurity that Gary and Robbie have in the US is something they probably value now. Opening a video shoot to fans would not change that for either of them. It would just give them the opportunity to use relative obscurity as an asset at no cost. The opportunity might not be “financial” to either of them but it allows a trend to be created and that is what art is about. It would have been effortless in this case.

    What TT did back in 2006 was very sensible. Their “test the waters” approach was brilliant and was a good way to assess the prospects of future success. They also played the card of not making announcements prematurely. That was where their music rivals East 17 failed miserably in their comeback endeavor.

    I can assure you that I do have background information on Take That – including the specifics of their record deals. I would not dare to write about them if I did not. They have always been an interesting act from an artistic and business perspective. Given my passion for the former and my academic grooming in the latter, I ensure that the information is not incomplete or inaccurate.

    Thanks as always for the comment. I truly appreciate it. This is the type of engagement we are looking for. Hence, I am grateful to people like you that keep the conversation moving forward.

  23. Angel says:

    Yes, it’s always good to keep an important conversation going on and sorry, if I misunderstood you.
    In the internet you can find a lot of so called music experts. I always have to laugh, when there’s for example a big article about the ex-member of Take That, Gary Barlow. Ex-Member? Then I often think, how dare you to write one sentence about anyone not knowing anything about him.
    I can see, you really try to keep your informations up to date. So even, if it’s not my opionon, that Garys Video shoot is a lost opportunity, I apprevciate very much to have this conversation with someone from the US.

  24. @Angel: Thanks again for the comment. No worries about any misunderstanding. I think in general, American sites have a bad reputation for missing key facts when they cover bands from overseas. I have read plenty of poorly researched Take That articles by folks in the US – and these are for MAJOR online publishers. Quite embarrassing! We got a similar comment on a Kylie Minogue (also not particularly popular in the US) post we did back in the day. Hence, the skepticism about our research is quite understandable – but with Take That, I can assure you that we have done a very thorough job. We cannot afford to tick off Take That fans with poorly researched articles.

    I think the facts surrounding Gary Barlow’s musical career were largely known. I think what “My Take” provides (and of course I am saying this without not having read it yet!) is Gary Barlow’s experience of many of those facts – which I think would be very interesting.

    I personally think the “video shoot” could be the beginning of a new type of fan experience that is not even remotely expensive and can create a different type of fan dynamic that benefits from relative obscurity in the US. I actually think this should not just apply to the US. This should also apply to American bands that are not famous in other countries – and I feel like they should do something similar – especially in major consumer markets for music.

  25. @Angel: Thanks again for the comment. No worries about any misunderstanding. I think in general, American sites have a bad reputation for missing key facts when they cover bands from overseas. I have read plenty of poorly researched Take That articles by folks in the US – and these are for MAJOR online publishers. Quite embarrassing! We got a similar comment on a Kylie Minogue (also not particularly popular in the US) post we did back in the day. Hence, the skepticism about our research is quite understandable – but with Take That, I can assure you that we have done a very thorough job. We cannot afford to tick off Take That fans with poorly researched articles.

    I think the facts surrounding Gary Barlow’s musical career were largely known. I think what “My Take” provides (and of course I am saying this without not having read it yet!) is Gary Barlow’s experience of many of those facts – which I think would be very interesting.

    I personally think the “video shoot” could be the beginning of a new type of fan experience that is not even remotely expensive and can create a different type of fan dynamic that benefits from relative obscurity in the US. I actually think this should not just apply to the US. This should also apply to American bands that are not famous in other countries – and I feel like they should do something similar – especially in major consumer markets for music.

  26. Dana says:

    Hello

    I was lucky enough to be part of this video shoot.

    The fanbase knew about this video shoot. Everyone had a fair chance to apply to the add posted online. That is how 3 of us got in. I am not sure how many fans actually applied in the end but the chance was there for everyone.

    I talked to Gary quite a bit that day. When asked if he would come here more often now he apologized and said it wouldn’t happen. At the end of the video shoot he said to me “see we couldn’t do this in the UK” and he is right. He couldn’t just promote a video shoot online for everyone to see and then walk down a street somewhere without being stopped once. I do believe he has no intentions to promote his or TT career in the US and I respect that.

    Also we have to point out that Gary is a really fair guy. Why would he have an event here for the few fans? That would also be unfair considering he really doesn’t do promo in other countries either . He doesn’t really tour Germany or the rest of Europe for example. Other countries feel just as left out and they don’t complain about Gary not organizing a fan event just because he happens to be in that country. His home turf is the UK and that should be respected. He is well aware he has fans here and in many other countries but it is impossible to make everyone happy. He has to focus on what’s best for him.

  27. @Dana: Great to hear from you! People (including me) applied but never heard back – and that’s fine. There is literally only that many extras that would be needed for a video shoot. I totally understand that. I think the issue I am trying to highlight is not the chance to be an extra but a chance to be spectator at a show. It would have been effortless for anyone involved. As Gary mentioned, there is no way this could have worked out in the UK. Relative obscurity in the US allowed him the luxury to do something like that here without the “risk” of attracting too much attention. Fan events for small fan communities are actually quite common in the industry – especially if they entail no cost. They’re fairly exclusive.

    The fairness issue is one I don’t particularly focus on – primarily because this industry is never really going to be “fair” to everyone across the globe. As someone who moved to a third-world country for 14 years (ironically, that is where I discovered Take That in the 90s), I can definitely tell you what we’ve gotten the entitlement for fairness out of our system. The point I was trying to make through this post was that it was easy to make this accessible to more people at no cost and no risk of losing anonymity – and it would have entailed no incremental effort on this behalf. Once again, thanks so much for commenting. I really wanted someone that attended the shoot to offer their perspective – so I truly appreciate the time you took to make that happen.

  28. kerry says:

    I’m sure a lot of thought was put in to how to handle the whole solo thing by Gary, the people who advise him and his record label. They clearly wanted the least attention possible. A lot of European fans are disappointed that he didn’t take his last tour outside the UK and Ireland but I think he is very much doing things on his own terms this time. I don’t think there is another artist out there who has experienced what he did in the late 90’s. You comment on him having taken a beating, it wasn’t just professional it was very personal too. He has a young family to consider and I for one don’t blame him one little bit for putting them before a fanbase which lets face it has proved itself to be incredibly fickle!

  29. @Kerry: The beating Gary took was personal. It must have been pretty extreme if he had to relocate to America for a few years. Apparently, people on the phone at his credit card company would also make snide remarks at him. He did not deserve that at all. I think the fickle fanbase was outside the US though – not in the US. I think people here that have admired him weren’t really taken by the “Gary vs Robbie” battle since neither of the two had a substantial footprint here in the US anyway. As far as a lot of thought being put into Take That, I actually really have to differ on that. What they have done in UK and the Europe is brilliant but their global strategy has been pretty poor and they obviously do not operate with any real data at all. Their comeback has gone relatively unnoticed in parts of the world outside the US and Europe where they had such amazing traction. Having lived in Asia in the 90s, I can tell you that Take That was not marketed to teen girls in the way that they were in Europe. They were just seen as a cool act that made really good music. They had a straight male fanbase in those parts of the world – since no one was distracted by the other elements of their marketing. I don’t necessarily think going out and tiring themselves out like they did the first time around was the answer but their legacy was more widespread than the UK and Europe and they should leveraged that. I guess I think like a businessman and this is probably a label a lot of music misfires as lost opportunities.

  30. Angel says:

    Radio Creme Brulee…don’t you get it??? Take That/Gary don’t need/want more attention/money or whatever! They are happy as it is now!
    @kerry: Thx for your comments! No need to explain more.

  31. @Angel: Don’t worry! We totally get it. We’ve never doubted for a second that Take That and Gary Barlow don’t need money. The idea that we had was not aimed at being a money spinner either way. The small scale of what we had suggested would never spin that type of cash – or much cash at all. The goal of this post was to make an observation and not a value judgment against Take That or Gary Barlow. If they want to continue to remain obscure, that is totally their choice – and that is probably where the answer lies. Not much anyone can do to change that. There is business sense to NOT trying to extensively market in geographic areas where there is no musical legacy. We were not suggesting an extensive marketing campaign.

  32. robin says:

    Hi,
    New to this post on Gary Barlow. Just recently renewed my interest in GB and TT, thanks to discovering that Jason had left the band( although GB states that he hasnt officially left and that they are planning a 25 year anniversary reunion in 2017).
    Anyway my 5 cents worth to this discussion is that I read that TT does not want to do any promotions in the US as they feel that it’s late in their careers and the task at hand would be too daunting. It would require months of touring in the US, something that they can’t see themselves doing now as they have family. Moreover the chances of them succeeding in the American market is too chancy.
    But I think you have a point about the video shoot. If I was an American TT fan I would have jumped at the chance to appear in the shoot. Maybe Gary wasn’t too sure about the fanbase in the US. I remember him doing a gruelling 9 months radio tour of the US back in the 90s when he first went solo but nothing came out of that. So maybe that had a hand in the decision not to specifically target US fans simply because he wasn’t sure of the numbers.

  33. @robin: Thank you so much for the comment and a huge apology for not having acknowledged it earlier. I think it just makes good business sense at this stage of TT’s careers to focus their main effort in countries wherein they have a deep-rooted legacy. Sadly, the US is not one of those countries. That doesn’t mean a special effort should be made to ignore it – especially for activities that have zero incremental costs. The thing with the video shoot is that the idea is not to get a large turnout, but it is to reward the American super-fan. It is a different type of fan experience that revolves around relative obscurity of massive international artists in the fan’s country. That too can be a fan experience worth exploring and potentially exploiting. These days, people focus on the music experience being just concerts. There is so much more that the industry can tap into. This video shoot was one of those opportunities. Thank you so much for the comment.

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