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Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Staying star power? Tenuous celebrity brands

Showing the tenuous nature of celebrity branding, yet another highly regarded star is seeing the potential losses after a fall-out in his personal life.
Yes, Wayne Rooney looks set to lose a few sponsorship deals after some sordid details were published in the UK Sunday papers this week.
Why do they do it? Has Tiger Woods' fall from grace in such a spectacular manner taught them nothing?
Thus, the nature of celebrity branding. Rooney and his wife Coleen, dubbed the new 'Posh and Becks', have become a power-brand in terms of licensing deals, but of course this image is built on Rooney being the all-round family man. Naturally, most of us in the business take this with a pinch of salt, as no-one is perfect, and a brand is an image rather than a personality - but still, when nearly every celebrity worth their salt is now a brand, with huge amounts of merchandise, a lot of revenue comes from this. Of course, it's not just footballers, but, being the tabloid fodder that they are, and building up huge programmes around them as brands, the harder they seem to fall.
This all being said, of course, there are some celebrities who have made a turnaround from a scandal and even seen the said scandal boost their popularity. Paris Hilton, fresh from another white powder scandal, is still a huge brand, and became perhaps even more so after her stint in a Los Angeles jail. Kate Moss saw deals dropped and then new ones formed after her own 'fall from grace'. Jordan, aka Katie Price, Kerry Katona, and Britney Spears all lurch from, if the media outlets will be believed, one disaster and drama to the next, but their brands are still strong. The Kardashians are the latest family on everyone's lips, alongside the Gosselins - and even the Palins, with their teenage-pregnancy-parents-split-then-make-up-then-split-then-he-sells-his-story-and-pictures-of-himself-barely-clothed-to-Playgirl story was huge news, and has seen Bristol and Levi talking about several possible deals. The fact that teenaged Miley Cyrus is linked to a few scandals doesn't seem to hinder her image with fans - quite the opposite in fact. Footballer Ashley Cole's philandering ways have helped to turn his now ex-wife Cheryl Tweedy into a super brand, as public sympathy goes a long way. George Michael bounces back, often, from drink-driving and other charges, and of course, Michael Jackson's fame saw no bounds after court cases brought against him by minors detailed every inch of his personal life.
Of course, there are many salubrious celebrities who have become brands out there without their personal lives being splashed out across the News of the World, National Enquirer, or every other country's version of a tabloid - but who is everyone talking about, at the end of the day?

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