This is a follow up to the last article on this topic. Many have had great, insightful comments that show the varying opinions of the community at large. The best thing is that everyone responded in a mature manner. I was seriously expecting some of the more militant, hardcore douche bags whose only replies are “Momusu rulez! 9th gen FTW!” & crap like that.
Thanks to those who read & commented on the previous article I realize there were a couple of things that I missed. (Again the beauty of the open forum that is the online community.) I believe it only fair that I address these oversights in order to provide a well rounded point of view.
As always, everything written here is my own opinion & does not necessarily reflect those of the other Selective Hearing staff.
Morning Musume As a Brand
In the previous discussion of this topic I was looking at Morning Musume as just another unit within the Hello! Project. I completely forgot about the other side, which is the brand that is Morning Musume. (Thanks to Ray from IW for pointing that out.)
Yes, Morning Musume is defintely a brand just like Coke, Pepsi and Disney. Highly visible and recognizable with a very loyal following. They are THE brand in Hello! Project /UFA/UFI. Mention any of those organizations & the name Morning Musume is synonymous with them. I mean who is realistically going to answer Berryz, C-ute, or S/Mileage? Really. Would you?
Looking at things that way Morning Musume is essential just for name recognition alone. Even if the group continues to falter the name will be enough to get them by. It also makes sense why UFA / UFI likes to trot out the old war horses under different Musume names when you see things from this perspective.
With that in mind, Morning Musume still brings in the money even though they probably aren’t quite at the level they were during their peak years. Brand loyalty will always manage to bring in revenue. In relation to that I could bring up the topic of singles sales but that’s a can of worms that I don’t want to open up again at this point in time. Perhaps in another article since that really deserves to be discussed on its own.
Getting back on topic, is it really fair to look at Morning Musume as a brand? Of course. Idol land is business first, music later. I have mentioned many times that if you think it’s “all about the girls” you’re living in a dream land and need to be slapped into reality.
Anyay, with any brand there needs to be an evolution every once in while. Going back to the cola reference we have Coke, New Coke, Pepsi, Pepsi Max, etc. This same theory is applied to Momusu with their revolving door policy. Its been in place since the formation of the group and some say that keeps the group fresh.
But does that even work anymore? Does anyone outside of their core fan base even care? Can the average person of f the street even name a current Morning Musume member anymore?
For some fans the mere mention of that is an invite to a fight. Why would anyone doubt the great & wise decisions that Tsunku (and by extension UFA/UFI) make about Morning Musume? The way I see it (and many will disagree) is that this formula isn’t exactly working in their favor anymore.
That could be attributed to the fact that they are no longer the media and public darlings anymore. Perhaps it’s just because there are more idol groups out there and the talent pool has been so diluted that “she will do” is enough to make it in the group. Who knows?
This is probably a cold way to view Morning Musume but who said everything had to be unicorns, sunshine and rainbows?