With the new (and eleventh!) series of TOWIE starting last night, we look into the status of reality TV stars and what this can mean for brands.
Looking back at the golden Hollywood era, celebrity and stardom was something to be admired, with them being haloed as these god-like beings. Fast forward 80 years, and the concept of celebrity has never been so accessible. With developments of television and the internet, people can now immerse themselves in a world of celebrity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Reality television has only added to our obsession of fame, creating a new breed of celebrity for the British public to admire. Yet these celebrities are different. They are portrayed in the media as being normal people, making it possible for us to relate to them, and for this reason, they have now become so popular.
The power of reality TV stars
Reality TV stars have become just as influential as the A-listers, developing a power to influence what we wear, where we socialise, what we eat and what we do in our spare time. They have become trendsetters in their own right, with us looking up to them, wanting to imitate their lifestyle. Made In Chelsea for example, the cast are admired for their good looks, nice houses and excessive lifestyles. The show plays on many people’s fantasy lives and for this reason, we are hooked on finding out more about them.
What does this mean for brands?
Reality TV celebrities are extremely lucrative for brands. Lipsy for example, has utilised the power of the reality TV star to drive sales to its target demographic of young celebrity-driven women. Faces of the brand have included Made In Chelsea’s Caggie Dunlop along with selling TOWIE’s Amy Child’s and Lydia Bright clothing ranges to its target consumer, offering them the chance to have a piece of the celebrities lifestyle.
PR agencies have capitalised on this, realising the reality TV celebrities are influential, accessible and inexpensive to hire for their client campaigns. Every brand from fashion, beauty, sport, exercise and lifestyle has employed a reality star in some way, in the knowledge that they will boost sales and drive exposure to the brand.