Brand Audit: Paris Hilton
A Brand Inventory
She is famous for her party life, the countless number of scandals she has been involved in, her growing collection of Chihuahuas including Tinkerbell and Bambi and her catchphrase “that’s hot”.
Paris Whitney Hilton (PH) the American socialite, celebrity, heiress, model, media personality, business woman, designer, singer and actress (Wikipedia. 2009).
PH was born in New York City on the 17th February in 1981. She is the oldest of four children of Richard and Kathy Hilton(Wikipedia. 2009). Thanks to her great-grandfather Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton hotel chain, PH is the shared heir to a family fortune estimated at $300 million (Bio.com, 2008) PH moved between several exclusive homes in her youth, including a suite in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, Beverly Hills, and the Hamptons (Wikipedia. 2009). After graduating from high school, PH pursued a modeling career. In 2000 she appeared in publications as GQ and Vanity Fair and on runways for various New York designers. PH underwent extensive plastic surgery, hair coloring and tinted contact lenses in her attempt to reach fame (Bio.com, 2008).
Her life as a celebrity kick started in November 2003 where a four-minute, night-vision sex video (1 night in Paris) of PH appeared on the Internet. She was having sex with her then boyfriend, Rick Salomon. PH handled the situation in her stride and released the movie on DVD, and it became one of the bestselling pornographic DVDs ever. So the movie far from destroyed Hilton, it made her. (Guardian, 2005). Many would have said that the video couldn't have appeared at a worse time: it was less than three weeks before the debut of The Simple Life, the Fox reality series starring Hilton and her best friend Nicole Richie. (cbc.ca, 2008). The first episode of The Simple Life had amazing 30 million viewers (CBC, 2009). But what some people afterwards call the biggest publicity/marketing stunt in the world, was the stepping-stone for PH’s career. If it simple was a boyfriend who wanted revenge or it was the biggest publicity/marketing stunt in the world – only PH knows!
Today, against all odds and years after the sex video scandal which most people thought would make an end to PH, she is a successful business woman, more powerful than ever and the it-girl! Though in between the business success different scandals have sneaked up on her. She has had a turbulent love life with different men such as the model Jason Shaw, the Greek, Paris Latsis and Benji Madden (Bio.com, 2008). She has been taking for speeding several times and driving with too high blood alcohol level. And After violating the terms of her DUI probation, driving at 70 m.p.h. without her headlights on in a 35 m.p.h. zone and driving with a suspended license, she was sentenced to 45 days in jail (4 May 2007). After serving 22 days in detention, with credit for her good behavior, she didn't have to serve the whole 45 days’ sentence and was released (IMDb, 2009). While other celebrities who would be damaged by a jail term, once again the scandal did not hurt the blond haired girl. Paris Hilton is still one of the strongest and most lucrative individual brands in the world. And her brand value has only gone up in the wake of all the jail-related publicity (Portfolio, 2007).
PH has since she was a teen marketed and celebrated herself and done everything her own way. There is no doubt about that PH is her own best product. She is the queen, the first to really use the paparazzi to create her as a star. She understands what they need of her, and she gives it to them; she smiles, poses etc. She knows that the best way to handle the paparazzi is to use them, and go wherever they go (CBC, 2009). She is a media darling, but she is still scandalous enough to hold people’s attention. She describes the brand Paris Hilton Inc. as a girl’s fantasy life, and that it is about...
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