Beyonce’s Super Bowl Performance: Genius PR Move or Call for War?

By: Jenna Taimuty, Communications/Digital Strategy Committee

beyonceThe Queen has arrived once again. Among the recent rumors buzzing that Beyoncé Knowles is releasing a new album, she announced she would be performing the Super Bowl 50 halftime show with Coldplay and Bruno Mars.

However, before the announcement, she took to her website to release her first new single, “Formation”. The video itself sparked controversy, as there are clips of African Americans against the police and clips of street graffiti reading “Stop Shooting Us.” It pays tribute to New Orleans and references Hurricane Katrina’s demoralizing hurricane.

And, of course, at the Super Bowl halftime show she chose to perform the song, obviously encouraging debate. By performing “Formation,” she created not only controversy, but also promotion; the promotion being for her world tour, Formation World Tour, that was announced directly after her halftime stint in a commercial advertisement.

Despite the public opinion of Beyoncé’s song, performance, and world tour aligning with the Black Lives Matter movement, she pulled a genius PR move. Whether or not people are talking poorly about her or praising her, they are talking. There are endless social media accounts, articles, reports, interviews, etc. dedicated to her new world tour and halftime performance. There is actually a protest planned for February 16 outside of the National Football League in New York City to let the NFL know that America does not want “hate speech and racism at the Super Bowl,” and according to CNN, the Beyhive is firing right back. Beyoncé supporters have planned a counter-protest and are encouraged to wear clothes inspired by her Super Bowl performance.

Knowles knowingly created one of the most controversial events to happen in 2016, and it is only February. The world can either root for her or against her, but nothing or no one will stop her. Whatever the truth is behind the meaning of her song, album or tour, she sure knows how to promote it. With 111.9 million viewers, Knowles announced her Formation World Tour with a good chunk of the world watching, in true Beyoncé Knowles fashion. Should we have expected her to create any less controversy or publicity? Nobody does it quite like Queen B, after all.


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