Let’s Go Crazy: Prince’s Kicky Path to Innovator Status

Dearly beloved…

There has been countless tributes and analysis since Prince’s passing last week.  Broadway shows including Hamilton and The Color Purple have included post-curtain call bonus renditions of his hits, and even political candidates are adding his catalog to their appearances.

HillaryFor those of us in the business of marketing, no question—he was every bit as much a master in this regard as he was in his music.  For us, he was an avatar of innovation, perhaps more so than in originality.

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His mélange of influences, including James Brown, Michael Jackson, Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix resulted in a hybrid that defied categorization: is he black or white? Is he male or female or something else entirely? Is he gay or straight? The frilly blouses, high heels boosting him to five-foot-five, beauty mark, sexual focus and come-hither look all were the freaky sideshow to the music itself: searing and irresistible all at once.  One of his biggest hits from The Purple Rain soundtrack seemed to embody his go-for-baroque approach:

Watch the video here:

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In truth, Prince’s quest for “the purple banana” is something we can relate to as marketers and creators. So much of what we do can be driven by necessity and expedience and budget and safety—the proverbial elevator taking us down—but in every opportunity, let’s try to take the chance to push for brilliance and change. To innovate. To get into that elevator heading UP. That opportunity is there, it’s just not always immediately apparent.

Thanks for the music and the challenge, Prince. And the words to live by.

Dearly beloved

We are gathered here today

To get through this thing called life

Electric word life

It means forever and that’s a mighty long time

But I’m here to tell you

There’s something else

The after world

A world of never ending happiness

You can always see the sun, day or night

So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills

You know the one, Dr. Everything’ll Be Alright

Instead of asking him how much of your time is left

Ask him how much of your mind, baby

‘Cause in this life

Things are much harder than in the after world

In this life

You’re on your own

And if the elevator tries to bring you down

Go crazy, punch a higher floor

If you don’t like the world you’re living in

Take a look around you

At least you got friends

You see I called my old lady

For a friendly word

She picked up the phone

Dropped it on the floor

(Ah, ah) is all I heard

Are we gonna let the elevator

Bring us down

Oh, no let’s go!

Let’s go crazy

Let’s get nuts

Let’s look for the purple banana

‘Til they put us in the truck, let’s go!

We’re all excited

But we don’t know why

Maybe it’s ’cause

We’re all gonna die

And when we do (When we do)

What’s it all for (What’s it all for)

You better live now

Before the grim reaper come knocking on your door

Tell me, are we gonna let the elevator bring us down

Oh, no let’s go!

Let’s go crazy

Let’s get nuts

Look for the purple banana

‘Til they put us in the truck, let’s go!

C’mon baby

Let’s get nuts

Yeah

Crazy

 

Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

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