One Direction fans really do not fit the stereotype that is portrayed of them. There seems to be an assumption in some parts of the media that One Direction fans are all silly 12-year-old girls. To be fair, that stereotype was probably perpetuated during One Direction’s time on X-factor and in their very early career under Syco boss Simon Cowell. There is no doubt that Cowell was desperate to create a boy-band back in 2010.
Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, and Zayn Malik were brought together and made it through to the show’s finale. While One Direction placed third on the show, Cowell was quick to realize that he had a winning formula. As a result, One Direction were marketed to what Cowell saw as the key boy-band market, young girls, typically “tweenagers.” No one could argue that Cowell’s initial strategy was anything other than masterful. Within two years of being brought together, One Direction were arguably the world’s biggest band.
The initial marketing ploy was so successful that Cowell turned One Direction into a $1 billion brand. There is an old saying in the military that goes, “no plan ever survives first contact with the enemy.” Sadly, it seems that most of the media and arguably One Direction’s management and PR teams have never heard of that saying. As time has gone on, it seems that One Direction’s management have not learned the lesson that to ensure continued success, adaption and constant revision is required.
One Direction’s management seem to have failed to realize that One Direction have matured, learned their trade, and gained a thorough understanding of the music business. Critically, the audience has matured right along with One Direction. This is a band that is now loved by people of all ages, of all faiths, and of every sexual orientation under the rainbow. By failing to realize this, One Direction’s management has failed the band.
Just about every piece of PR for One Direction away from their music seems to focus on the band’s relationships, whether that is with each other or with the numerous partners the boys have been paired with through the years. The real failure in the strategy is that few fans believe a word they read about One Direction. Even those One Direction fans who were within the band’s target demographic in 2010 are now young adults. Many are now parents or are holding down successful careers. They are bright, clever, and curious people; they don’t trust the media; and they work together to hunt for the truth about the band they love.
Earlier this week rumors swept the internet after Us Weekly claimed that One Direction’s hiatus was in fact a permanent split. Of course, many One Direction fans were worried about the claims, but most did not believe a word of it, especially as the story seemed to originate from an “unnamed source.” Sure enough, within hours, we saw an avalanche of stories countering the claims, this time originating from Billboard. Once again, an “unnamed source” close to the band was quoted this time with reassurances that “nothing had changed.”
Sadly, nothing was heard from the One Direction team. The Mirror took perhaps the most interesting angle on the story when they reported that One Direction have not renewed their recording contract. Of course this is the news that many One Direction fans have been praying for. Many fans want to see One Direction split from Syco, from their management, and from their PR team.
There are signs already that all three of these wishes may be granted. If One Direction are clear of Syco, then they will be free to negotiate their own deal, probably on considerably better terms than the one they currently have.
Inquisitr recently reported that One Direction’s Harry Styles has recently spent time on a super-yacht with the Azoff family. The Azoffs are hugely successful in managing some of the biggest names on the planet. Irving Azoff is known to be a fierce advocate for his clients, and One Direction already have strong links to the company through Styles.
Finally, the time might just be right for One Direction to ditch their current PR team. PR Week reports that HJPR is to close, at least in its current format. HJPR was founded in 2003 by Simon Jones and Jonathan Hackford, and they have announced that the company will split.
Many One Direction fans are very uncomfortable about links between One Direction’s management team and U.K. tabloid the Sun. The Sun‘s U.S. editor Pete Samson is married to Anne-Marie Samson, and Simon Jones of HJPR is believed by some to have strong links to the Sun‘s Dan Wootton. Bizarrely, the Sun‘s recent reporting on One Direction has been overwhelmingly negative. In today’s Sun, Wootton implies that One Direction will not be appearing at this year’s Brit Awards and says that he is not surprised because of the degree of “in-fighting within the band.”
In effect, all of this means that One Direction could very soon be forging a totally new path, one that will see them with a much greater degree of control over their own destiny. As a result, many fans would hope that we would see a new One Direction era. One Direction fans hope that this new era would see fans treated with more respect by One Direction’s management and by the media.
Fans are tired of the same old stunts being pulled time and again. One Direction fans will hope that the band’s management will come to realize that one sign of madness is repeating the same experiment time and time again, expecting a different result each time. One Direction fans want to be treated as the adults most of them are and believe it is high time the inverted ageism they suffer is consigned to the dustbin of history.
[Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP]