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Lady Gaga: Fashion Faux Pas or Good PR?

For anyone who missed the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards this year, I’m sure you heard about the outrageous dress worn by Lady Gaga when she accepted her award for video of the year.

From a distance the garment appeared to be a red cocktail dress, but up close viewers could see that this dress was made completely out of raw meat. This comes as no surprise to Gaga fans considering Lady Gaga is known for wearing outlandish ensembles to award shows, but I’m not sure that even Gaga expected the media attention this dress would receive.

Personally, I view the dress as a guerilla-marketing tactic that is being used to draw people’s attention to a cause.

Lady Gaga claims that the dress was worn in protest of how homosexuals are discriminated against by the U.S. military. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Lady Gaga said if we don’t stand up for what we believe in then “we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones. And, I am not a piece of meat.” The dress may have made a point, but did Lady Gaga lose fans?


PETA’s president released a statement shortly after the award ceremony and said, “Someone should whisper in her ear that there are more people who are upset by butchery than who are impressed by it. Meat is the decomposing flesh of a tormented animal who didn’t want to die, and after a few hours under the TV lights, it would smell like the rotting flesh it is and likely be crawling in maggots — not too attractive, really.”

However, Lady Gaga’s fans expect her to wear crazy and inventive couture. Though the dress was offensive to some, the press received by this dress has become quite the topic of conversation, and all of Lady Gaga’s “little monsters” are sure to forgive in time.

In PR, we are always looking for new and inventive ways to get the word out about organizations or causes we may be representing at the time. From my standpoint, I think Lady Gaga got exactly what she wanted, which is for gay rights in the military to be recognized and fought for by Americans. She might have gone a little overboard, but she got people talking and that is how a good PR campaign gets started.

By John Paul Bruno

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