When celebrity, marketing, and media merge
: Kathy Griffin on the Howard Stern show this morning said that she and other stars are frequently paid by marketers to make “media tours.” The idea is simply that they are paid to go on talk shows and cleverly insert a reference to the product. Kathy was recently hired by Heinz, for example, to causually mention their ketchup bottle’s neat new top.
Now this might appall you — until you think for a second: What, you thought until now that celebrities’ appearances on talk shows were genuine moments of humanity? We all know that stars only go on shows to promote something — usually their movie or record or book. But why shouldn’t they be paid to promote something else and get paid for it? It’s the ultimate product placement: Instead of placing it next to the celebrity in a movie or TV show, we put the marketing message in the celebrity’s mouth.
Everybody uses everybody in this game: The star uses the show or magazine) to promote the movie or now the product; the show or magazine uses the star to get audience. It is the virtueless circle.
So this is merely the logical next step for marketing, media, and celebrity, when they all merge into one, when you can’t tell when the marketing ends and the rest of life — whatever that is — begins.