Is it ever ok to use stereotypes in your marketing? Growing up around, and now working in, the entertainment business in Nashville, I can tell you that a large percentage of what we do here is exploitation (and exaggeration) of stereotypes.
Anybody remember Opryland?
Dirt roads, NASCAR, four-wheelers, cheap beer, old pickup trucks, seam-busting demin jeans, cowboy boots... If you want a major record deal in Nashville and you're not into this stuff, at least act like it, ok?
This issue isn't just limited to country music and it certainly happens in places other than Nashville. It happens in all genres and anywhere music is produced. From my experience, it especially happens in country, Christian, metal, and urban-related genres.
I know a couple of "Christian" artists who are secretly gay. To keep up appearances, one is married to a woman. The other preaches abstinence at his shows and tells the audience "true love waits," even though his post-show activities take a different approach.
On the opposite end, I know a country-pop singer who is happily married, but it's not public knowledge because it would affect her marketability as a sex symbol.
We have a certain perception of how things should be...and that is what we spend our money on.
Is this a good career move? It can be.
But what happens when "the real you" is discovered?
And could it be a better career move to do the complete opposite of what everybody else is doing? They zig, you zag.
Curious to know your thoughts and where you draw the line when it comes to marketing a stereotype or other image that you feel people expect from you. How far are you willing to take your image in the name of selling more music?