I thought keeping your dirty laundry away from the media was the key to success in the world of the famous, be it actors, singers, politicians or sport stars. And, the Tiger Woods media circus causing him to loose a lot of advertising gigs is partial proof for my point of view. Years ago it was not so fashionable to be rumored to have slept with X and Y famous colleague, substance abuse, abandoning your children, cheating on your spouse, and etc., these things were career stoppers – but things have changed
We now love all the dirt out there, and I am not talking about tabloids either. I am talking about the “rigorous, professional, ethical” media, which loves sordid little stories more than anything. They love sex tapes, sport news about footballers’ wives, and frankly we seem to be more interested in the stars’ private affairs than in their actual performances. I guess that’s why we have so many people appearing on our screens every day, because they’re famous for being famous.
All this has been taken to the extreme by the celebrity reality shows. Stars appearing on Big Brother might seem a bit desperate at first: their only chance to still be the center of attention. But, right now, we have the celebrity version of Big Brother. Yes, Lorenzo Lamas isn’t getting parts in movies, but he’s got a TV show. And they promote it by emphasizing he is an actor who used to be famous eons ago.
People are watching so everyone is desperate to reveal as much dirt as possible in order to be in the spotlight for another fifteen minutes, and we are validating them by reading and watching. Is it still surprising that there’s a mention on Wikipedia about one of the Cheeky Girls and her affair with a famous UK politician which broke up a marriage? Is it any wonder that wannabes will reveal anything, no matter who they hurt in the process?
We have to wonder who is responsible for this degradation in what makes the news and in what the public is interested in. Is it because we really want it, we wouldn’t watch anything else? Or is it because we’ve been trained to be hungry for such junk? This is easy news reporting. Why bother finding the news when there’s almost always a scandal to entertain the audience? I thought music, movies or dancing were there to entertain us. Why do we still need the backstage mess in musicians, actors and dancers’ lives?
Back to the effects on personal branding, I can understand why so many PR pros advise against “attention grabbers” such strategies. But, if it works for now, why not? The public’s attention means a big pay day. But, here’s little piece of advice: everyone doing so, beware of when the public tires of your antics. You may still have your fun, only the public won’t care anymore – then what? How far will a falling star have to sink to continue giving the public its drama fix? There should be a backup plan perhaps?