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Taylor Swift and The magical power of the female P.

Last May I visited Lisbon (gorgeous city), where I attended a Taylor Swift concert (YAY!)

I was there with my daughter. I thought we would stand out, but I was wrong. Loads of mothers went with their daughters. Glitters and tiaras ruled the arena, since around 90% of the crowd was women: mothers, daughters, sisters, girlfriends. All flocked to the city in droves, willing and ready to have fun and spend some money while having it.

It made me want to look into the power of the female P—no, not that P! I mean Purse, as in dollars and shekels, as in Purchasing Power.


 

More than twelve years ago, Disney released “Frozen.” They hoped it would do well, but  were completely unprepared for its success. It smashed the box office. You'd think they'd be prepared since Disney’s princess industry is old and lucrative. Yet despite its long experience with marketing to girls, the craze for Frozen caught the huge conglomerate with its proverbial merchandise pants down. It lost billions in potential earnings because it underestimated a demand that went on for months, and didn't have the goods in the stores.

Why did Frozen do so well?

Previous films that centered on female characters had just one leading lady, and her happy ending always involved a wedding—even in the case of the warrior Mulan. Frozen’s happy ending is a complete departure from that. It focuses  on the reconciliation between the sisters rather than romance. Disney underestimated how much little girls would love the story of two strong, independent women and their relationship.


 

Last year, another ‘surprise’: Barbie became the highest-grossing film in the history of Warner Bros. 

“The core movie audience is anyone who used to play with Barbie—90% of women and our teenage daughters,” Zoey Chance, who worked in brand marketing at Mattel, told Yale Insights, “But the real genius was the writer who understood and validated our powerful mixed feelings about Barbie.” 

There are certainly mixed opinions about how feminist Barbie really is, but women felt they were in safe hands since the movie was produced by Margot Robbie and directed by Greta Gerwig: two women at the helm. The movie was fun and well made, and it carried a powerful message to women. ​America Ferrara's monologue is poignant and true​, and it fell on willing ears.

Are you sensing a theme here? This movie, like Frozen, was for and entirely about women and their place in the world. 

And it made a shitload of money.


 

Taylor Swift has matured into an opinionated and savvy businesswoman. Back in 2015 she challenged the way corporations treat creators, successfully changing Apple’s policy of not paying artists during the Apple Music trial period. She has re-recorded her songs so as to fully own the rights. Her choices and smart publicity forces to the light music industry’s quiet corporate machinations.

Her Eras Tour broke the all-time gross record at an “unprecedented” speed, reported Pollstar at the end of 2023. And it’s not over as Swift is set to perform 85 shows by the end of 2024. Taylor knows the power of the female P. Her influence on economies is so vast that in March 2024 Investopedia added a new value: Swiftonomics.


For me the conclusion is clear: corporations would do well to put us women at the decision-making table — producing, directing, telling our story, and owning our own cultural equity.


Taylor Swift, dressed in a sparkling black outfit, performs on a large stage with bright lights and smoke effects. The main stage screen displays her image, capturing her dynamic pose and energy. In the background, the drummer and other band members are visible, adding to the electrifying concert atmosphere.
Taylor Swift Eras Tour Lisbon May 2024

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