It’s an interesting juxtaposition: reading Martin Lindstrom’s new book, Brandwashed, which talks heavily about big-ticket marketing—among other techniques, manufacturing celebrity. And then dropping in to Midtown Manhattan a couple of hours early for my event, and spending those hours exploring around Times Square—about as commercial a location as one can find in the US.
First, frugalist that I am, I was pleased to play tourist while keeping my wallet safely inside my pocket, and still feel like I got a good taste of Madame Toussaud’s, Ripley’s, and Planet Hollywood just from the free stuff: the gift shop, the teaser exhibits, and in Planet Hollywood’s case, the restaurant walls lined with movie artifacts.
But second, the whole idea that not only do we love celebrity, we even love the people who emulate celebrity. Replicas of props, concert announcements about a Beatles brunch (at B.B. King’s Lucile’s club) featuring not one of the two surviving Beatles, but cast memb ers of Beatlemania.
As soneone who is not-all-that-tuned into celebrity (I can’t even tell you WHY the Kardashians are famous), I find it fascinating to watch.