Leo Sigh

Talking about the artists we love

Why Conchita Wurst’s Bank Austria Endorsement is a Good Thing and Why You Should Butt Out

conchita wurst bank austria

In the 38 hours I’ve been traveling across three continents on my way home to Bangkok, it seems Conchita Wurst has hit the news again. This time, however, not for a concert, or a speech, or an award she’s been given, but for her decision to appear in TV, print and internet advertising for UniCredit Bank Austria AG.

A decision that was obviously of her own making and that, frankly, is no business of anyone’s except Ms. Wurst and the bank itself.

Some of Conchita’s fans, however, decided to make it their business over the weekend by criticizing Conchita Wurst on her Facebook page. That’s because, according to them, banks are organizations we should all look at with contempt, and those people who choose to endorse them should be similarly looked down upon.

To add fuel to the fire, an Austrian news site called OE24 chose to create an actual story out of this Facebook non-story (slow news day?), calling it a Conchita Wurst ‘shitstorm’.

Yes, a so-called professional news site using vocabulary a 12-year-old boy would be proud of, and writing about a business decision that has little relevance to anyone other than Conchita Wurst, the person who made it. (Although I’m beginning to realize lately putting ‘professional’ in the same sentence of OE24 may not always be particularly appropriate),

So, I decided, now that I’m in the skies of Malaysia and only an hour or so away from Bangkok, to finish off my marathon travelfest by writing a short article about the lovely Ms. Wurst and her decision to endorse a bank.

A decision, by the way, I wholeheartedly approve of and, even if I didn’t would keep my mouth shut about, as it’s frankly none of my business.

Why it’s a good thing Conchita Wurst partnered with Bank Austria

Even celebrities need to pay the billls – I don’t think fans are aware that many of those gay pride events Conchita Wurst did all over Europe throughout the summer were events she did for free. That’s because many prides are non-profit organizations, so don’t have the money to pay the artist fees another organization would.

Sure, Conchita likely got her plane tickets paid for and any hotel, food and minor expenditures, but much of it was gratis on Ms. Wurst’s part, and much of it done to repay the gay community who have been supporting her for a long time.

Now it’s her turn to make some money for herself with an endorsement for a bank, and some of you are having a bitch-fest about it? Seriously? Leave her alone.

Bank of Austria creates ‘legitimacy’ – While it’s debatable whether Conchita Wurst should go for legitimacy when it comes to ‘doing her thing’, as honestly why should she care what other people think, the fact of the matter is, as soon as she allied herself with a bank, her image improved. (Not that it needed improving, but you know what I mean).

That’s because some of those who may not have looked at her quite as favorably as somebody like me already does, might now give her a second glance, simply because of seeing her in Bank Austria’s TV and print commercials.

In fact, if she wanted to be thought of as a little more ‘mainstream’, there isn’t really anything better she could have done than endorsing a bank’s products. And she probably knows it.

Bank Austria deserves some respect – One thing some fans seem to be missing in all of this, is what a big deal it is for a conservative organization like Bank Austria to decide to use Conchita Wurst to promote their products.

Plus, with some people still acting bigoted and homophobic towards Conchita Wurst, making the decision to work with her now could lose the bank some business. But, they went ahead and hired her anyway. Well done Bank Austria, is what I say.

That’s also why Conchita fans should not only be supporting Bank Austria and thanking them for using Conchita Wurst in their new advertising campaign, (I’ll be opening accounts with them if I move to Vienna next year), but should also be happy an organization this conservative sees something valuable and worthwhile in the lovely Ms. Wurst. Just like we do.

Why you should ‘butt out’ – seriously

Everything Conchita Wurst does won’t always meet with your approval – I’ve only been aware of Conchita Wurst for the last five months and, during that time, she’s made a couple of decisions that I’ve thought “Well, I wouldn’t have done that”. But Conchita Wurst and me being two completely different people, and both with strong personalities, it would be odd if I agreed with everything she did all the time.

Besides, just because I happen to be a fan of her music, and of the woman herself, I’d have to be pretty naïve to believe I’m going to agree with her about everything.

And, if I did, I’d be examining my own opinions a little bit more closely, just to be sure they’re actually legitimate and not an almighty attempt at ‘kiss-ass’.

It’s none of your business – If a public figure chooses to endorse a company or get involved in an advertising campaign for them, it really isn’t any of your business. All they owe you, as a fan, is to keep producing work they enjoy for as long as they’re happy still doing so. And then you choose to buy it, or not.

That means, you don’t have the right to slam what career decisions they make, and especially when it comes to something as high profile as Conchita Wurst working with Bank Austria.

You want to make decisions about commercial campaigns somebody famous gets involved in? Then doing something worthwhile and becoming famous yourself might be your best option.

She’s proud of this campaign – Come on, you can just tell from the photos and the videos, Conchita is proud of how this Bank Austria campaign turned out. As she should be. It’s a lovely campaign.

So maybe, before you start down that path of self-righteous indignation over a commercial decision she’s deliberately chosen, worked hard at, and is now proud of – maybe, just maybe, check yourself. And stop trying to spoil it for her.

Stop stealing her joy – Which leads me to – stop stealing her joy. Really – it’s as simple as that.