Another big night is behind us. Soon after the Super Bowl fever, the Oscars came and heated up social media. Although we haven’t witnessed anything quite similar to the last year’s world famous Oscars selfie, the Academy Awards and red carpet stars were again in the spotlight of the Internet users. According to Synthesio, the Oscars gained more than 440,000 mentions in social media, with the majority of the conversations (67.4%) revolved around the show in general and only 11.2% about the actual films.
Unfortunately, I won’t write about films neither. What came to my mind is celebrity endorsement and the most amazing occasion for fashion brands to appear on the screens of millions of people who either watch the ceremony or follow the online news about the event. Each year on the February night, the red carpet in front of the Kodak Theatre turns into a catwalk with the biggest names in the film industry as models. One of the most frequently asked questions by the journalists is “What are you wearing tonight?” and social media are buzzing about the best and worst looks.
In the times of the rising importance of entertainment, celebrity culture and thus celebrity endorsement plays a relevant role in PR (L’Etang, 2009, p224). As third party endorsers, celebrities – in this case actresses and pop culture icons – are a credible source of information and inspiration. Thanks to their social media presence they seem closer to us; we can follow them, comment on their pictures, get insights from their lives on Twitter and Instagram. When they post no-make-up selfie we feel as if they were our friends, ordinary people who just got up from bed.
Celebrity phenomenon demonstrates not only the possibility of upward social mobility (Davis, p118), but also a “false sense of equality in modern democratic society”(Davis, p121). If Jennifer Lopez could have become an international star, why not me? This form of imagined intimacy and acquaintance, as well as desire to become one of THEM makes it easier for PR to endorse some messages with the help of celebrities. And although most of us won’t go to the Versace store to buy a dress the next day, the brand awareness is effectively build thanks to our beloved celebrities.
Speaking about Oscars, congratulations to the creators of the Polish film Ida which won the award for the best foreign language film. Worth seeing!
Davis, A. (2013). Promotional Cultures. The Rise and Spread of Advertising, Public Relations, Marketing and Branding. Chapters 1, 5, 7. Cambridge: Polity Press.
L’Etang, J. (2008). Public Relations. Concepts, Practice and Critique. Chapter 10. London: SAGE Publications Inc.