The Wanted vs.
The new era of pop music is upon us being led by One Direction and The Wanted. While One Direction seem perfectly fine being associated as being the Backstreet Boys of this generation, The Wanted might not be keen on being the ‘N Sync competition. Rather than embrace their inevitable pop fandom, they have taken to lashing out at some of the biggest names in pop music. Some might commend them for not being afraid to stand up in the face of pop music’s rulers, others like myself think it’s a stupid move to do at this point in their careers.
It’s not that I personally care about whether they find success or not but I think it’s interesting to see the outcome of their recent actions. Calling out Christina Aguilera‘s attitude toward them during their visit to The Voice, where she is one of the judges. They straight out called her a bitch because she apparently refused to talk to them while on set. Meanwhile, once that media storm died down, they move on to Britney Spears and her supposed demand that they face a wall and not look at her as she once passed by them backstage.
Regardless of whether it was even Britney’s wishes or the demands of a power-happy bodyguard, or whether what they said is even true, none of that matters as far as The Wanted’s success is concerned. Their target audience is made up of fans of pop music and they’ve already been categorized as being a boy band, a title they may be stuck with from here on out. Pop music consists of people that consider themselves pretty passionate about the singers they “stan” for. Between Britney and Christina, they have and still rule the world of pop. By those two statements, the Wanted have immediately lost perhaps more than half of their potential audience and it doesn’t even matter if they were telling the truth.
Maybe the goal of the boy band was to have that title dropped. To be associated as a boy band is limiting both in what type of audience they can win over and what type of music they’ll be permitted and expected to make in the future. By attacking the queens of modern day pop music, they try to appear edgy in hopes of winning over music fans that already have negative perceptions of both. As we all know, the quickest way to win people over is to find common ground on an issue in which there is a them vs. us. it’s classic social psychology at work, Sherif’s Robbers Cave experiment.
But would it work? I doubt it. Even if people agree with the Wanted that Britney and Christina are bitches, they’re still dealing with having the boy band label and their audience reach is limited to people that like pop but strongly dislike Britney, Christina and whoever happens to be next on their list. Judging by their album sales, that’s a small number of people.