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Live A Pray-AR: how Madonna is using AR, TikTok and more in her new album campaign


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The new Madonna album, Madame X, is out next month but leads singles ‘Medellín’ and ‘I Rise’ have not exactly set the charts alight. Which will make the set up to the album that little bit trickier. Perhaps as part of an accelerated media campaign, Madonna’s team has been talking to Billboard about the use of new technologies around the album and tour because anyone with even half an eye on her career knows she wants to be found at the bleeding edge of things.

There is a brief reference to the use of AR in her recent Billboard Music Awards performance where a flock of different Madonnas were on the stage at the same time. She has also been using TikTok for the #medellinchallenge where fans have to show off their best cha cha cha dance moves. “She started playing with it,” Maverick Music president Greg Thompson told Billboard, “and we’re having some fun with it. We think it’s cool.”

Some will inevitably roll their eyes and suggest that in a Venn diagram showing Madonna’s audience and TikTok’s audience any overlap is so minimal as to be almost invisible, but that would be cruel. She might be jumping on the TikTok bandwagon but she can also bring TikTok a slightly different audience – and that is surely the point here. As much as she will benefit from the sense of ‘cool’ and ‘relevance’ that TikTok can bring to her, TikTok can also benefit from the attention a bona fide superstar can bring to it. Throughout her career, Madonna has often had impeccable timing with regard to trends; this is just a continuation of what she has always done.

Stuart Dredge

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