The glamour, the glitz, the sparkle. All rolled out on a red carpet in front of millions of viewers. That is how celebrities sport the latest fashions and make the consumers sitting in their pajamas at home drool. Whenever you watch the red carpet arrivals before awards shows, you always hear the phrase, “Who are you wearing?” as each celebrity goes from head to toe in a poetic blazon of fashion labeling.
SOHO enamel, based in New York and selling Italian-imported jewelry, is just one of many companies who flaunts their products on celebrities. Their products appear to grace the wrists of celebrities such as Ciara, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Drew Barrymore, appearing in magazines such as Elle, People, and Star. These celebrity style placements inundate our consumer society at all levels.
But do these celebrity advertisements, endorsements, and modeling for fashion trends really work? Are they viable techniques for growing sales? According to diamonds.net’s “The Celebrity Connection,” E! Network’s red carpet arrival show before the Oscars garnered 12 million viewers in 2013, leading many television networks to question whether the pre-awards shows are better viewed and more profitable than the awards shows themselves.
But that’s not all the numbers show. CNN’s Anita Elberse writes that, in the six months following a celebrity endorsement across a variety of consumer product categories, sales for the endorsed product increase an average of four percent. For example, when celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Queen Latifah began discussing their use of Shapewear a few years ago, annual retail sales grew 10.6 percent to $848.3 million from March 2009 to February 2010.
Websites such as InTheirCloset.com and RedCarpetFashionAwards.com closely monitor celebrity wardrobes and provide links to the stars’ retailers for availability with the average consumer.
“Celebrity-driven media achieves some of the highest engaged viewership and readership of any other media,” Michael O’Connor, president of Style and Substance, a New York City marketing and PR consulting firm, states.
Since our society honors current celebrities like medieval societies honored royalty, perhaps the fashion industry is right to bow down to the stars that wear their dresses. Or jewelry. Or that model their latest cereal brand. The numbers show, after all, that celebrity does sell.
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