Spectacle and Immersion is a technique used by the creative industry daily. They rely heavily on spectacle, to see the responses of the person and how it benefits the production. Immersion is how quickly a person wants to see or be part of the finished product. The immediate and direct contact they can get from pre-release material creates a hype around the production. The use of both spectacle and immersion isn’t just refined to Film & Television, it is used in all industries from Music to Gaming and Theatre to Social Media.
Within the music industry, Ariana Grande has mastered the art of creating the hype around her music releases. She does so through the use of social media and primarily on her Instagram account. Grande has 148 million followers, and before releasing a new song or video she does a countdown. She used this with her recently released song ‘7 Rings’, and between the 4 photos she posted, she received around 7.4 million likes. These countdowns create the hype and generate the immersion around her new song, where the person wants to listen to it. It also creates a spectacle around the release date, and so as soon as the music video was available, it generated millions of views within the first hour. Also before the release of her album Sweetener she did another countdown on her Twitter, which again received a similar amount of likes. This use of Spectacle and Immersion made her become the first artist since The Beatles to achieve the No. 1, 2 and 3 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
The critically acclaimed show Game Of Thrones uses Spectacle and Immersion within the Television industry. Since the book was turned into a TV show in 2010, with the release of each new season, more and more viewers want to be immersed within the mythical lands of Westeros, and sit on the Iron Throne (which even The Queen herself has visited). The producers have made that possible, and at many conventions such a Comic-Con, you can take a seat on the Iron Throne. With the fast approaching release of Season 8 and with it being two years since the release of Season 7, the shows viewers are truly ready to be re-immersed into Westeros. HBO, the shows producers, created a spectacle around the latest season, and just two months before the release of Season 8 they released new cast photos to create that spectacle of each character’s possible story lines within the new season. This re-engages the viewers and again creates interest in the show, after a two-year gap between seasons.
The theatre industry is another to create spectacle. As the hit new musical Hamilton opens in theatres around the world, the spectacle grows as to its popularity and star studded cast. Hamilton is the story of the American founding father Alexander Hamilton, created by renowned thespian Lin-Manuel Miranda (In The Heights, Moana). Miranda, who has a large social media presence, helps create the spectacle around new openings of the musical in new cities, and new cast announcements through his own excitement portrayed on social media.
Online you can view the Hamilton blog with news and updates from all cast and crews. Since Hamilton opened on Broadway, New York he has released an original Broadway Cast Recording which helps fans listen and learn the about the show before seeing it. A Hamilton mix-tape, which sees celebrities such as Kelly Clarkson, Usher & Sia take on Hamilton songs, has been released. This release engaged a new audience for Hamilton and gave the show an extra boost. It also allowed the new audience to immerse themselves in more than just the album but their favourite artists too. The success of the mix-tape allowed Miranda to carry on creating, and saw him release a song each month in2018, along with another twelve mix-tape style tracks, not just of the original songs, but songs that didn’t make the show, or other artists interpretations. These tracks include stars such as Ben Platt, Sara Bareilles and even Barack Obama take on the challenge. This continuous monthly release created an even bigger spectacle around the musical and cast when is comes to new theatres, as well as the immersion for new music. The show is talked about more so now than it is when it originally opened on Broadway in 2015.
The creative industry will continue to create spectacle and immersion, to engage people with their content, and let the audience do the promotion for them. Their techniques vary across the industry, using albums, teasers, trailers and social media to boost their presence.
Billboard. (2019). Ariana Grande Claims Nos. 1, 2 & 3 on Billboard Hot 100, Is First Act to Achieve the Feat Since The Beatles in 1964. [online] Available at: https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/8498841/ariana-grande-top-3-spots-hot-100
Instagram.com. (n.d.). Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) • Instagram photos and videos. [online] Available at: https://www.instagram.com/arianagrande/?hl=en
Hamildrops. (n.d.). Hamilton’s Hamildrops. [online] Available at: http://www.hamildrops.com
Hamilton Official Site. (n.d.). London – Hamilton Official Site. [online] Available at: https://hamiltonmusical.com/london/