Friday, July 10, 2009


Veritas Team Huddle compiled by Sarah Daly.

With an estimated one billion people watching the televised memorial this week, it’s tough to argue with Queen Latifah’s description of Michael Jackson as the ‘biggest star on earth.’ Everyone will remember where they were on July 7, 2009 for the two and a half hour star-studded tribute that Veritasians declared a classy Touchdown. Some of our team felt the memorial was over the top, yet also fitting for an ‘over the top’ performer. This demonstrates that the event delivered on the brand that was/still is Michael Jackson. In crass communications terms, we felt it was important they reinforced that brand in the minds of the public - particularly given all the controversy surrounding his death. The spectacle provided a significant cache of positive reflections on Michael’s talent and his music that "owned the news", minimizing opportunities for further media focus on negatives (court cases, the father of his children, etc.) One item did detract from the day’s events, however: the City of L.A. has a very prominent ask on their website (– they are requesting donations from fans to help pay for the memorial event. The same event, by the way, that drew tens of thousands of those same fans to L.A. in the first place, where they spent plenty of money. For this Veritas calls a flag on the play. Michael Jackson was, and probably always will be, “the King of Pop,” and overall the tribute remembered the music and the man – not the mayhem and the man. That man may be gone but the “MJ” brand appears to be – at least for now, anyway – alive and well.

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