An iconic example of speculation gone wild pre major event (i.e. concert) would be, most recently, Jason Zhang (Zhang Jie) and Xie Na’s break up rumor. (A second, Yu HaoMing and Liu XiJun’s purported relationship that gave Liu’s post-Super Girl career a nice jump-start.)
Jason Zhang and Xie Na’s relationship has been a media concern, dating back to his Super Boy days. When the duet happened at the end of 2008, fans went ecstatic over the quasi-confession (Ok I admit, I was one). Although they both remain elusive towards the subject, they are, in fact, treated like a pair of high-profile celebrity couple. Then after the release of Jason Zhang’s new album and before his concert, which took place today at the Workers Stadium in Beijing, “speculation” of their break up somehow found its way to people’s dinner table gossip. The timing seems a little… conspicuous.
I’m not one to judge any managing firm’s marketing technique, if it indeed is a ploy to attract attention (like Zhang Jie needed it; look at how well he’s done on Hunan TV’s Yi Hu Bai Ying); but if anything positive came out of it, it’s the fans’ support.
Zhang Jie is well loved and so his concert was seated to its maximum capacity (approx. 12,000 people) with an additional 350 seats added last minute.
You’re looking at the costume custom made for the concert, costing a hefty 100,000 RMB. (Maybe he needs a new accountant who can tell him that a one hundred grant investment on clothes — correction: skirt — isn’t so wise an idea.)
The concert had a few highlights. First and foremost was Zhang Jie’s tribute to his idol Michael Jackson that featured songs and dances by the late pop king. We know by now that Zhang Jie can sing AND dance. Just to add a cherry on top, he sang those songs a capella (see a Billie Jean demo here)!
The second highlight, which probably means more to people familiar with the late 80’s, early 90’s music, was Zhang Jie singing old classics from the band Xiao Hu Dui or The Little Tigers (band members included: Alec Su, Nicholas Wu, and Banny Chen).
The third highlight was of course, Xie Na actually being at the concert. It was public knowledge that Zhang Jie invited Xie Na. Yet it was unknown whether she will attend it — there was the talk of awkwardness between the two after all and it looked mighty convincing. Xie Na’s mere presence alone achieved two things: 1) It effectively put a damper on the media’s curiosity about her relationship status and 2) With Zhang Jie dedicating a song to her and all the shebang, the mood of the concert was elevated to a second climax (MJ being the first, I presume).
The last and biggest highlight was Zhang Jie’s birthday — a clever set up. What happened was the concert was scheduled on the day before Zhang Jie’s birthday. When it approached midnight, fans got to celebrate Zhang Jie’s birthday with him. That last one alone is incentive enough for people to buy tickets.
Now you can see the thoughtfulness eeMedia put into their biggest money machine this event. The next step is to release a concert DVD (<< that, is pure speculation) and milk the cow for what it’s worth.