Ed Sheeran, Shifting Sausage Rolls and Much Much More

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Things aren’t always what they seem

On Ed Sheeran: From boy next door to biggest-selling artist of the year, 1 Jan 2015, Harriet Gibsone describes the “careful cultural curation” of Ed Sheeran so that he appeals to “a range of ages, genres and genders and allows Sheeran to be playlisted on Radio 1, Radio 2 and BBC1Xtra”.

“Material on his debut album had an obsession with promoting his allegiance to reality.

“His Twitter feed is a constant source of disarming truths.” For example, “Doing the Victoria secrets fashion show tonight and I’m eating a Greggs sausage roll in the dressing room.”

Keith Negus, professor of musicology at Goldsmiths says Sheeran provides “a slight counter-blast to fast-living celebrity culture”, “a sense of self-imposed legitimacy” and “heartfelt testimonies”.

Apparently, there are three kinds of authenticity required to ensure commercial success:

  1. Cultural
  2. Personal
  3. Representational

Achieved by:

  1. Appearing true to your culture
  2. Appearing true to yourself
  3. Not faking it in terms of how you produce work

It’s no surprise then that Greggs like-for-like sales were up 8% in December 2014.

Given that Ed’s “disarming” tweet from Victoria secrets fashion show specifically plugged Gregg’s sausage rolls, it’s strange that Shore Capital analyst Clive Black says: “It’s refreshing that in the age of social media and Black Friday, [Greggs] humble sausage roll is Britain’s winner” (Black Friday took a shine off Christmas – but there’s no stopping the good old sausage roll, January 17).

I’m sceptical. Did Ed Sheeran’s Twitter feed respond to what’s trending on Nielsen data, or did it set the trend?

Maybe Clive Black missed Ed’s “carefully curated” tweet.

Ed Sheeran, shifting sausage rolls and much much more.

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