PR: The Good, Bad and Ugly
Nerves or Publicity Stunt? M.I.A. Goes Rogue At Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show
by Caitlin Russell on 02/07/2012
Super Bowl XLVI was one for the record books, including for social media PR: Twitter reportedly reached 12,233 tweets per second in the fourth quarter, averaging around 10,000 tweets per second during the entire game, and more than 111 million viewers tuned in for the game, with 114 million viewers tuning in for Madonna’s highly anticipated halftime performance.
All in all, the halftime show was a success. Madonna showed the world that she’s still got it (just in time for her new album to hit the stores, no less), and Nicki Minaj and LMFAO were able to prove their rise to the top has been no accident.
But the real show stealer (saboteur?) was M.I.A., who outwitted censorship delays with a carefully timed and brief display of her middle finger.
The “finger seen ‘round the world” quickly became the talk of social media, with mixed reactions. Parenting groups likened it Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction in the 2004 Super Bowl, and NBC and the NFL were quick to point fingers themselves – at each other. My question is: why did she do it?
Though she has given no official explanation, sources close to the rapper are telling reporters that she simply got caught up in the moment and let nerves get the best of her. But I have to agree with those that are speculating that this is nothing more than cleverly disguised publicity stunt. Sharing a stage with arguably more popular musicians than herself (she hasn’t had a hit song since 2007), she, with one small gesture, became one of the most talked about moments from the entire night.
I imagine the backlash will be fleeting, much like the moment itself, and the NFL and NBC can shuffle blame until the discussion dies down, while M.I.A. enjoys the relevance.
What do you think? Was this an accident or a performer using a stunt to steal the headlines from her peers?