Celebrity and Promotional Culture

Currently, people widely discuss the life and behavior of different celebrities striving for them more than for other life objectives despite the fact that fame is not long-lasting. Another problem of the modern society is that it totally focuses on the promotional culture that spreads the processes of celebritization and celebrification, which influence human lifestyle, consciousness, behavioral patterns, and values. Social media are the instruments of the promotional culture imposing the false values of social life. Moreover, they cause an impact on the growth and development of young people persuading the community that brand names, new canons of beauty, appearance, and fame are more important than sincerity, modesty, and honesty. Consequently, promotional culture is driven due to celebritization and celebrification that transform social and personal values. In addition, the both movements prevent people from defining the boundary between right and false issues and make them grasp the promotional culture. Moreover, the state of celebrity, promotional culture and media are interested in celebrification and celebritization as the processes that spread the necessary information, make the society the place of dramas, mass psychosis, intrigues, and scandals, and contribute to generating profits.

Celebrification as a Transformation of People into Celebrities

Celebrification is a process related to the transformation of people into celebrities with the help of money, fame, scandals, and controversial actions. Regardless of their state, both ordinary and public figures want to become celebrities, mass media reinforces this “unhealthy trend” using promotional culture as a driving force of their business (Goffman, 1990). Celebrification refers to people, actors and actresses who want to be different from others. For that reason, Goffman (1990) suggested a “dramaturgical model of social life” based on setting, performance, manner, appearance, front stage/ backstage, and front. It means that people appreciate only those qualities and advantages that can contribute to their fame and celebrity without paying attention to morality and spirituality, which is more important than bright appearance or the status of the famous person in the society.

Celebrification has already finished as a process fulfilling its functions of influencing and controlling people’s lives, affecting their manners, styles, thoughts, and actions. Therefore, Davis (2013) regards celebrification as a movement, which has a symbolic power as it involves mass media, society as well as areas, such as economy and politics, where manipulation and speculation are frequent measures. It means that everybody who pretend being a person the other people prefer decorates his personality with the passionate texts and speeches, manipulate the words and thoughts facing the changes and influences related to the state of celebrity. Currently, promotion and presentation of the self are the top priorities, especially of young people who imitate their favorite celebrities. Thus, Marshall (2010) considers that celebrity is the presentation of the self; therefore, it is a marker of promotional media. Furthermore, he is convinced that there are no democratic turns in media but the celebrities communicate the processes of ritualization of its openness (Marshall, 2010). It means that mass media, as well as famous people, are not sincere and honest when they discuss this respective issue.

Celebrification is a process of mass psychosis that spreads quickly from one human to another, penetrates the diverse areas, surrounds and invades people, shapes their thoughts and behaviors as well as affects the fans and the entire population. For example, the rise of TMZ as a celebrity news website proves that people are more interested in the lifestyle of those who received fame and recognition at any price than in their own lives (Gray, 2010). However, it is necessary to mention that the increased number of TV shows, advertisement, and other media are the ways for creating brand identity and selling products. For example, advertising war between the Mac and PC in 2008-2009 served to celebrificate their brands and not the intention to show the advantages of their products (Gray, 2010). Both brands have involved comedians John Hodgman and Justin Long due to the mutual contrast, features of character, and personalities.

Celebrification creates an unhealthy tendency of ordinary people to become the celebrities who demonstrate the abilities and talents in music, art, politics, and economy as well as use immoral actions, such as criminal behaviors and scandals, to attract the attention of mass media and society. Thus, celebrity is a negotiated action that involves public relations, media and fans’ interest. It is necessary to mention that the enormous fans’ interest contributes to the growth of celebrification in the society. However, it is difficult to change the current situation as celebrification has spread across the cultures through both reproducing and producing celebrity. For example, the users on social networking sites, YouTube video performers, and bloggers are becoming celebrities and do not put much effort as mass media and society create the necessary and favorable conditions. Thus, media presence is a driving force of celebrification among the ordinary people.

Celebrification has influenced and transformed advertising considering that earlier, the most advertisements focused mainly on the products and corresponding characteristics. However, the modern advertisement has undergone total celebrification. According to Driessens (2012), the celebrities’ images, names, clothing styles, and hairstyle have become the products for selling and consuming. Moreover, their role is to create the audiences and markets. It is obvious that the power of celebrities is endless due to the leading position of the promotional culture that is difficult to demolish. Davis (2013) considers celebrities as powerless elite whose strength depends on the level of the promotion and mass media. It means that the symbolic presence is not sufficient; therefore, they are ready to become the objects of advertisement to deploy the considerable resources and generate the coverage across the promotional texts and multiple media.

Celebritization as a Driving Force of Grasping Promotional Culture by People

Celebritization is the shift of the society towards cultural celebrity prominence. Moreover, it encourages people to grasp the promotional culture as a shift that can contribute to their lives and influence their status in the community. The main challenge of the modern society is that celebrification is increasing constantly under the influence of mass media imposing celebritization as an essential part of culture. Consequently, it can change people from thinking and mindful beings into zombies dependent on their appearance and corresponding achievements. According to Bell (2010), celebrity is not a merit but a product of manufacture that is successfully used by mass media. Moreover, Bell (2010) insists to focus on the difference between celebrity and fame. Thus, fame is the recognition of achievements, whereas celebrity has different meaning as compared to achievements. They can include intrigues, scandals, promotion, and manipulation. For example, seasons of For Television’s American Idol demonstrate the ways of celebrity definition, nurturing, generating, and intensifying. This shows how media industry manipulates people’s consciousness using the psychology and tactics.

Celebritization succeeds as young people grasp it through the diverse mass media and demonstrate the enormous interest to celebrities, even when mass media stop communicating. Such tendency proves that promotional culture is well-developed and is more than a movement and class phenomenon but the unity of socialization practices, aesthetic, cultural values and norms, as well as psychological habits and strategies. Andrew (1991:184) wrote: “It [promotion] is defined not but what it says but by what it does…” Thus, the tools of promotional culture, such as socialization practices, and psychological habits and strategies serve to reinforce the sent message making it more persuasive and meaningful. For example, Star Wars has also become a part of promotional culture that uses texts and videogames as the socialization practices. In addition, it applies violence, cruelty, and fight as the strategies to influence a player’s mind as well as receive the control over his desires and intentions (Gray, 2010). Moreover, profits gained from Star Wars show that the efforts were merchandising.

Celebritization is a process of societal and cultural changes implemented through the state of celebrity. Thus, celebritization relates to politics, especially electoral issues, when politicians promote themselves as any product that the community should consume. Furthermore, it reveals and influences environmental activism since the participants of any movement imitate the celebrities’ ways of becoming the objects of media, such as scandals and conflicts. Moreover, people can observe the consequences of celebritization in medicine, education, literature, and fashion. Thus, it implies celebrification of all agents in any area. According to Wernick (1991), it is a cultural condition that insists on the differentiation of social activities and sectors as well as unites them through the notions of celebrity and promotion. It is obvious that celebritization is the increase of celebrity in time and space. Consequently, such terms as “worldwide celebrity” and “global stars” focus on the assumption of a global celebrity culture; therefore, these are also the ways of spreading celebrity culture from one population to another.

Another problem related to celebritization of the community is an ethical and moral character of actions to become a celebrity as the given culture imposes early sex, sexuality, violence, obsession with appearance and beauty and does not foster the patterns of the proper behavior, moral values, and the level of culture. According to Beasley (2010:300), people ignore the principles of ethics in relation to body image if people exploit it to gain profits. It is obvious that one can consider this as disrespect to the personal dignity as well as their fans and the target audience. Thus, Beasley (2010:300) writes: “They treat audiences as merely a means to making money, thereby placing economic interests above their moral obligations”. It means that mass media and celebrities exist to gain profit, but it does not provide them with the right to behave immorally, cause harm to young people, and decrease their moral values as well as the level of culture. Finally, celebritization of the community ruins the boundary between normal and immoral aspects as most advertisement imposes the idea that people hate their look and need the constant changes. However, transformations in their appearance can result in their degradation as personalities and destruction of the personal identity and the self.

Celebritization can be international or global, national or local, passive or active, and these are the media that determine the access of celebrities and stars to people. Many researchers are convinced that national celebritization does not cause any harm to culture as it contributes to the creation of united and homogeneous community (Beasley, 2010). It means that the intensity of celebrities’ and media’s influence is determined by the community and its cultural values that allow consuming all the received information or filtering it into necessary and useless. According to Wernick (1991), both senders and receivers are responsible for the essence of cultural message and the consequences of celebritization. Consequently, people should blame TV shows, celebrities, and other media in spreading immorality and vulgarism. However, they can accuse themselves as individuals who regularly follow these programs. If there is a demand, there will be a proposition. This economic law successfully works in the celebrity culture. For example, people are ready to watch film, even a naughty one if their favorite celebrity, such as Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Aniston acts there.

The State of Celebrity, Promotional Culture, and Media Contribute to the Changes in the Society

The state of celebrity, promotional culture, and media are interrelated and interdependent when it is necessary to ensure that the society is the place of dramas, mass psychosis, intrigues, and scandals, as well as gain the profits. Thus, the state of celebrity is a temporary state that cannot exist in the context of talent, abilities, and skills, but it requires scandals and intrigue to remain in the focus of mass media and people. One cannot regard promotional culture as worthy of engagement, artistic, and reflective. Thus, Gray (2010:307) writes: “… we will acknowledge it [promotional culture] as an imposed culture, one that makes us spend, eat, and smoke more, yet think less”. It means that people become the objects of manipulation by the celebrities and mass media. Finally, celebrities and mass media increase their profits through the ills of capitalism, interpretive introductions to cultures, weaknesses of people, and engagement. For example, the Simpsons have become the tool of promotional culture occupying television, cell phone rings, keychain, CDs, DVDs, books, advertisement, films, videogames, toys, clothing, and comics (Gray, 2010:312). It means that mass media have provided the entire means to ensure that the Simpsons become a part of promotional culture and receive the status of celebrities.

There are many definitions of celebrities, but most of them relate to the role of mass media and promotional culture. Thus, Turner (2013) is convinced that it is possible to achieve the status of celebrity if mass media focuses on people’s activities, their public role, and the details of their private life. It means that media play a leading role in the promotion of celebrities making them public figures. As to Rojek (2004), he associated celebrity with notorious status and glamorous life that become the objects of discussion in the society. It is obvious that people contribute to the development of the promotional cultures, when they continue communication about the celebrities started by mass media. Thus, celebrity is the outcome of globalization, media convergence, and democratic public sphere (Turner, 2013). Its production is provided by the publicity industries promotions that are conducted before the analysis of their functions respectively.

The changes in the society and its cultural level are inevitable in relation to celebrification of media that have all tools of influence and control over human minds. For example, the insane growth of TMZ is the result of expanding obsession with celebrity, especially among youth culture. TMZ imposes the wrong patterns of behavior that allow laughing at people’s mistake (Gray, 2010). Thus, the impact of celebrification on the news is harmful and unethical as it becomes the way of affecting the people. Davis (2013) is convinced that the changes in the society are also preconditioned by such celebrity as both symbolic and political capital. The author writes: “Celebrity brings symbolic capital, which is transferable to economic, political and other capital forms (Davis, 2013: 123)”. For example, David Cameron’ case proves that celebrification of politics is an obligation necessary to achieve the desired outcome (Davis, 2013). It is obvious that first, the man was unknown to the people as a politician, but he used his ability to accumulate symbolic capital through his knowledge, contacts, and media skills a way of influencing the society and becoming a part of the celebrity culture.

Celebrity is a practice as it involves the strategic work through the collaboration with media to introduce necessary changes to the society and make the target people the slaves of the promotional culture (Jerslef, 2016). Moreover, this strategic work should be continuous to reproduce the celebrity value. Furthermore, it is a cultural practice, where celebrity plays the roles of advertisement, commodity producer, and greatly changes the vision of morality. According to Beasley (2010), media should be ethically responsible, when presenting any information, images, and vision. However, it is difficult to notice this moral responsibility in appearance-oriented TV shows that motivate not to respect both personal and other people’s dignity. For example, TV show How to Look Good Naked’s is one of the several shows that demonstrate ethical responsibility promoting good health and virtue in others. Moreover, the producers of this program do not impose plastic surgery and encourage people to use weight-loss products. However, they help women to accept their bodies and appreciate them through the increase of the self-esteem, evaluation of personal identity, showing the ways how to underline the uniqueness of their beauty and appearance.

Finally, the state of celebrity and promotional culture contribute to people’s enormous focus on brand and the process of branding that also links services and products with cultural meaning through images and narratives. Thus, the state of celebrity and promotional culture can provide branding of products and services, which are of poor quality and value if they are promoted by the celebrities. The state of celebrity determines the place of any brand in the market. Moreover, it is not important what product or service it suggests if it fails to provide the qualitative advertisement.

In conclusion, it is necessary to say that celebritization and celebrification drive promotional culture that transforms social and personal values of the society. Thus, celebrification intends to transform people into celebrities with the help of money, fame, and scandals. Moreover, it fulfills the functions of influencing and controlling people’s lives, affecting their manners and actions, creates an unhealthy tendency of people to become celebrities through argues and crazy activities. Furthermore, celebrification is a mass psychosis that affects human minds, shapes their thoughts and behaviors and provides total transformation of advertisement. Celebritization is a driving force of grasping promotional culture by people that changes culture as well as imposes early sex, sexuality, violence, obsession with appearance and beauty. Moreover, in most cases, celebritization is deprived of morality and ethical practices that are necessary for the growth of young people.

In other words, it is the shift of the society towards cultural celebrity prominence that make people zombies and slaves of mass media. Furthermore, the state of celebrity, promotional culture and media drive both celebrification and celebritization. Consequently, the society becomes the place of dramas, mass psychosis, intrigues, and scandals, which contributes profits’ generation. It is obvious that celebrification and celebritization are interrelated and interdepended due to their reliance on mass media, the state of celebrity, and promotional culture. However, they differ in the objectives that they follow.