March 25, 2008

Lifestyle "Celebrity" and Advertising

Lifestyle "Celebrity" and Advertising

Return to the Lifestyle Hub

Introduction

Elsewhere in the blog it has been argued that lifestyle magazines are an important part of an overall field of discourses which encourage a culture of consumption. This culture of consumption is based upon an increasing aestheticisation of life and the links to personal identity. People often start to believe that if they buy a product that is linked to a sporting 'personality' for example they can identify and be identified with them.

Celebrity, Branding & Advertising

This kind of pressure can be particularly important working on younger people and what can encourage this is a culture of "celebrity".  Celebrity is frequently when a particular individual frequently a sporting 'star' (personality might be too strong a word when including people who can barely string a sentence together). They can aslo be film stars or leading actors in popular TV series. Whilst the reality is that they are no often any more clever (frequently less) they have been proved to be quite good at something. This has then been hyped up by skillful branding agencies , public relations companies and individual agents. Linking rising stars to consumer products is often an expensive form of branding for the product but when the sporting star is at the top of his / her game this link can be beneficial to both. 

Beckham

Arecent survey in schools shows the power these ideas can have on naive younger people. As this BBC story from December 2007 reports arguably the effects are very powerful:

Children see some 10,000 TV adverts a year and recognise 400 brands by age 10, Children's Secretary Ed Balls says.

The numbers of children at school who are strongly influenced by the culture of celebrity is alarming as this BBC report from 14th of March 2008 notes:

Children's educational aspirations risk being damaged by the cult of celebrity, teachers' leaders have warned.

Some 60% of teachers said their pupils most aspired to be David Beckham, in a survey for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL). More than a third said pupils wanted to be famous for the sake of being famous. Some 32% of the 304 teachers quizzed said their pupils modelled themselves on heiress Paris Hilton.

Paris Hilton Leaves Jail

As a spoilt rich kid allowed to what she liked she is cleary a good "role model". Here she is pictured coming out of jail after being incarcerated for ignoring a drink driving ban! (BBC June 2007). Hilton is a case of being famous for wait for it...... being famous. (Duh!!!!)

Activities

  1. Identify in your own lifestyle magazines the advertised products which are part of major brands.
  2. How many of them are associated with with Celebrities / Stars?
  3. Which ones?

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