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How Often Do We Over Hype? Marketer Seth Godin On The Dylan Broadway Failure

How often does the industry over-hype or just bring too much attention to an artist in a way that actually alienates audience and diminishes the "brand"?

Sethgodin_4Marketing guru Seth Godin writes: "So, Bob Dylan's new show on Broadway is getting panned by the critics. Probably because it's terrible."

Terrible because it illuminates Dylan's best work. And light is not always a good thing, especially if you're a storyteller. A ghost story in a dark cabin in the woods is very different from a ghost story on stage at the United Nations, under the harsh glare of fluorescent lights."

"Sometimes, marketers try to tell people everything...Human beings don't want to know everything--that's why sausage factories don't give tours. I don't think you can expect to hide your unsavory secrets, but I also know that the shadows are just as important as the light," writes Godin.

Boddylan2 We've all seen artists have the spotlight shown too brightly on them before they are ready and established acts over-hyped just before a new release.  There's an often repeated story - and I have no idea if it's true - that Nora Jones at the height of her multi-platinum success begged her label to pull the CD from stores fearing over-exposure.

That may be a bit extreme, but sometimes artists do know more than marketers about how their art should be exposed and in the digital age the fans will tell us how to best reach them...if we'll only be quiet and listen. I'd bet that if Dylan and really listened to his inner muse instead of his wallet this play would not have been produced. And I guaruntee that if you'd polled the fans they would have voted resoundlingly "NO".