Celebrity branding and ‘That selfie’.

March 4, 2014

Dubbed the ‘most retweeted image’ on twitter ever, Ellen’s selfie from the Oscar’s on Sunday night has now been retweeted more than 275 million times, beating out the previous record holder – President Obama – by a landslide. The tweet spread so fast and far that apparently Twitter crawled to a halt with the image being retweeted over 200k times within the first 15 mins of posting.

But what does a feat like this actually mean in terms of social currency? Increasingly brands both big and small use social media as a platform to build and grow their loyalty base and more and more celebrities seem to be following suit. Not only do they have a twitter account, but also a Facebook page, a website, an Instagram account etc.  

We all know that A-list celebrities have a full team who manage everything from their physical appearance, the roles they take, the products they align with and their PR where necessary. But can we not say the same about the biggest brands? They too have a full team dedicated to making sure that the packaging looks a certain way, and that their products are viewed in a certain light. Is there a lesson for brands to learn here – should brands be using the ways in which celebrities promote themselves as a framework to follow?

We can even draw a parallel between controversial celebrity stunts and questionable marketing campaigns. We all remember Miley Cyrus’s infamous performance last year which gave rise to the twerking phenomenon – was this stunt pure madness or pure genius? Marmites ‘love it or hate it’ campaign which satirised animal cruelty by ‘raising awareness’ for neglected Marmite jars was met with very mixed reviews. But again, no matter what your personal stance is both Miley and Marmite have gotten people talking. With so many similarities to draw, it ultimately leads me to a final question – have celebrities become brands, or have brands become celebrities? Ultimately it’s for us to decide what regard we hold brands in, but rest assured they’ll all be smiling and saying cheese until we do. 

 

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