Opinions about branding by Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rebranding Cultural Conflict Through Music: "Israeli Singer Tops German Charts"

"Any time you have a problem you are in contracted awareness....As you move into a higher level of awareness, solutions will start to emerge." - Deepak Chopra
You can't solve a problem by thinking the same old way. In the end no matter how much brainpower you apply, it is a spiritual exercise. Problem-solving means you get out of yourself, go higher, cross boundaries.

Armed conflict (war) is one of those seemingly unsolvable problems that people keep trying to solve from the inside. The Middle East conflict is just one example. One can view it from the lens of defense, or diplomacy, or development, or even purely PR. 

But as most of us realize, the answer is not going to come from any one individual perspective and it won't come from a selfish striving to be "the winner." Nowadays there really is no such thing - killing only leads to more killing, hatred to more hatred, on and on ending in a vortex that eventually sucks us all down the drain.

Music may seem "trivial" but maybe it's a part of a better answer. Everybody understands it. It goes beyond the brain to the heart. It shows us how we have more in common than what separates us. And large, powerful music brands are uniquely situated to support music that appeals to the inner desire for peace. 

In 2009 Sony/Columbia Records signed Israeli singer Asaf Avidan. His "Reckoning Song," remixed by German DJ Wankelmut, is now #1 on the German charts and as of August 19, 2012 was the most downloaded song on iTunes in Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. There are 16 million views of the various uploads of the song on YouTube.

The lyrics of the song are below. I tried to find an analysis of them online, but couldn't - I guess they're self-explanatory. He is singing about growing up in the aftermath of the Holocaust, confronting the "other side" (Germany), and realizing that things could have been so much different...if only. 

No more tears, my heart is dry
I don't laugh and I don't cry
I don't think about you all the time
But when I do – I wonder why

You have to go out of my door
And leave just like you did before
I know I said that I was sure
But rich men can't imagine poor.

One day baby, we'll be old
Oh baby, we'll be old
And think of all the stories that we could have told

Little me and little you
Kept doing all the things they do
They never really think it through
Like I can never think you're true

Here I go again – the blame
The guilt, the pain, the hurt, the shame
The founding fathers of our plane
That's stuck in heavy clouds of rain.

One day baby, we'll be old
Oh baby, we'll be old
And think of all the stories that we could have told.

Source: LetsSingIt


What the success of this song shows me is that, like my grandfather used to say, "Words spoken from the heart go straight into the heart." Music brands with an international reach have a particular power to bring people together. I hope they continue to do it, as it's not only good business but good for the world.