One affair suggests private relationship issues. Several alleged affairs is a public debacle for Tiger Woods and his sponsors. It begs the question, why do businesses choose to tie themselves to the cult of celebrity? The answer is because there is such a cult of celebrity.
Society has obsessed over recognition of personality for centuries, although the context has altered over time. Recent decades has witnessed the shift away from notability for achievement or exalted position and more towards fame for fame itself. Those recently seeking fame/infamy as the intended outcome include the “Balloon Boy” and the White House trespassing Salahis. It’s Warhol’s 15 minutes on steroids.
The reason why companies tie themselves to particular celebrities is more nuanced than that, of course, especially for the stewards of those corporate brands that sponsor a particular personality. Brands need to communicate their core archetypal attributes, being those characteristics, attitudes, behaviors and, indeed, that personality that those companies wish their consumers to associate with and perceive in their brand. It is easier for a brand to express those traits by illustrating them through something or someone iconic, within which or whom those brand traits are readily witnessed. (more…)