Monday, July 31, 2006

“Where can the wife of Stalin go?”

That’s what Nadya asks Olga in Stalin, the made-for-television HBO movie (1992), before committing suicide. Translation: If you’re in the public eye, there’s nowhere to hide. Right. But look at the upside of celebrity. Movie makers pay big name actors big bucks because they know they’re an audience magnet. “Yahoo!’s home page almost always leads with a celebrity. Google gets more searches for Johnny Depp than for any of your neighbors.” Celebrity endorsements in ads are worth big fees. At conferences, celebrities – even those with nothing much to say – are used to draw a big crowd. Also, book readings and art exhibitions increasingly invite celebrities from show biz. In our idle moments, we chat about celebrities. “Tournament organizers groan when the big names get ousted or withdrawal (sic) due to injury.” [17 July 2006 post]. There’s an interesting analysis of celebrity presence and its repercussions at Yahoo! Answers in The New York Times: (Register to read.) By the way, celebrities includes celebrity institutions as well. Like the Harvard Business School, for instance.

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