This article was written in its entirety by Maurice Leeftink from The Netherlands.
The United States of America is undeniably one of the most influential countries, if not the most influential country, on earth. Next to being a military world power, the United States also stands strongly when it comes to the music and fashion industry. American companies intelligently utilize these two factors to stand out from the foreign competition by combining phenomena from both markets in order to create great revenue. An example is Calvin Klein. During the spring of 2016 Calvin Klein launched their ‘’MyCalvin’s’’ campaign which features controversial and popular recording artist Justin Bieber, sparking major media attention as well as a significant rise in sales. Calvin Klein acknowledges the popularity of Mr. Bieber and wisely uses it for their own benefit and financial gain.
While the fashion industry uses celebrities and influential individuals such as musicians and reality stars in order to gain sales and popularity, music artists often utilize popular brands in order to gain status and a certain image, for example: critically acclaimed rap artist ‘’Lil Pump’’, who shot to the top of the charts with his song ‘’Gucci Gang’’, which heavily emphasizes on his apparently extravagant arsenal of pricy Gucci items, as well as boasting his image and wealth to the viewers of his, now viral, music video. By using the name Gucci in both his song title as well as repeatedly stating it in his song, Lil Pump attracts attention from the youth, as they are interested in expensive items which Gucci is well known for.
Due to the fact that America is a very prominent source of entertainment and fashion inspiration in Europe, it only makes sense for American companies to partner with major names in different branches to attract maximum attention from the European territory. Doing so ensures successful campaigns which lead to significant revenues, which is obviously what these companies are after. Because American musicians are so popular in Europe, brands from the United States can use them for promotional purposes, while the celebrities featured in these campaigns can intelligently use their affiliation with the brand to establish a certain image, resulting in gains for both parties.
When using factors that people tend to be interested in or be a fan of, such as musicians, you are certain to spark their attention for at least the slightest bit. However, sometimes, that can be enough for them to gain interest in a certain item which often leads to sales and thus, revenue. Because the biggest and best known companies are predominately located in the United States or have American roots, the Unites States enjoys a tremendous grip on what goes on in fashion, music and technology. If something is ‘’not done’’ in the US, it’s usually not done anywhere.
We can also wonder why the United States has become the country that we all look up to and why is it that we all so desperately want to be like the Americans.. Why not Russia? Or maybe even China? I believe the origin of the reason behind this desire leads us back to the great wars that humanity has known and suffered through. When you look at the position of the United States in these wars, you can perhaps imagine why the Europeans look up to America so much. During both World Wars, the US was seen as ‘’the good guy’’, who shows up and saves the day, while countries like China and the Soviet Union/Russia are often seen as the ‘’communist bad guys’’, which they more or less were. In the wake of the Second World War, Europe was divided into two: Capitalistic Western Europe and Communist Eastern Europe. The capitalistic west was run predominately by the United States, while the communist east was under the reign of the Soviet Union/Russia. In conclusion, the fact that the United States is a country with such a great influence on Europe has a lot to do with the fact that, throughout history, the US has shown to be the savior of the day and the protector of freedom, which is why people often are great fans of the United States while the other great powers remain in the background, which explains why the United States have acquired such great influence over the European continent over time.