Research Paper on "Celebrity" Branding

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Celebrities’ use of their “celebrity” status for personal marketing

When looking into the world that is Hollywood and more importantly the people that constitute this world, celebrities, one question has to be answered first. What exactly is a celebrity? This is becoming an increasingly difficult question to answer and a question that can be answered in many forms, and dispersing angles. Celebrities in today’s media world can simply be the boyfriend of a hot model, or the relative of the girl who is dating NFL sub-par running back Reggie Bush (Kardashian Sisters). You understand the point. It does not take much to be a celebrity in today’s society. With social networking sites like Twitter, Myspace, Youtube, and Facebook peoples route to a celebrity like status can be reached very easily, and does not always constitute productivity or talent. Yes, people have used these new channels as a way to showcase talent, like stars such as Colbie Collait, who have used Myspace as a springboard into record deals. Her website even claims her to be the “first true myspace.com discovery”(Caillat). But on the ladder side of that success take a look at Brian Collins, who has gathered over 4 million hits on Youtube for his famous debacle of a local Indiana sports broadcast (Boom Goes the Dynamite 2006). Is it not a far stretch to consider him a celebrity too? Yet he is not in a traditional celebrity form that is indeed ‘celebrated’. For the contents of this paper trying to establish reasons for celebrities over arching power in today’s capitalistic world, it is going to take a deeper look into what a celebrity actually is. This paper is focused on celebrities who have used their power to dive into different careers, and become global icons. Celebrities who gain and demand the constant attention of the media are certainly people who we celebrate. These types of media age icons of whom we continue to call celebrities are people who transcend their niche markets and are known to the global widespread audience. Using the music industry as an example, the band Death Cab for Cutie, a personal favorite, is a popular alternative indie-producing band. Death Cab for Cutie is popular within its genre, and niche audience, but not to well known outside of that small bubble. Than examining someone like Kanye West who dubbed himself the next ‘king of pop’ who is originally a rapper, or what he would consider ‘preacher’ has done so much for music, and has pursued other career agenda’s that have transcended him outside of the rap niche and is known by all citizens with any media intelligence. This is the true subject related focus for the paper. How have these megastars been able to travel across different markets not only in their original niche industry but across others such clothing lines, TV shows, product advertising, political agenda’s etc? The answer lays within us the consumer, and the new age media models. We as consumers give them the ability to have this power along with the increasing amounts of media attention celebrities are receiving. Particularly thinking about the easier way it is to garnish attention in today’s audience networking-centered world. It seems as though celebrities have remained the stagnate powerhouses of the drastically changing landscape, but how have they done it? To understand these questions, and to provide answers it is key to establish the power that celebrities have on society and their ability transcend and integrate across media platforms, through their influence and power. Secondly to portray how the use of that power has been taken advantage to create this brand that is Celebrity.

It is certain that celebrities have large influence in the complicated media landscape. Today you cannot spend 15 seconds of the day without some sort of advertisement pushed down your throat. In fact 20% of all advertisements placed on TV in 2006-featured celebrities (Story). This percentage is undeniably growing. Certain...
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