First of all lets understand what is Celebrity Cult? A public figure when repetitively exposed in media is recognized by the people of the concerned area. They occupy the space in the media in regard to some contribution in the society. Thus a political leader when talked about again and again and their photographer are also projected is likely to become a Celebrity. Likewise, Actors or Sports Persons with laurels also become Celebrities. Since a Celebrity attracts many followers he/she becomes on influencing agent. Thus, if a celebrity endorse a product, people would like to buy because it is endorsed by the person they love.
What does this endorsement mean? And, what is the significance of the endorsement? Further so what extent is such endorsement is ethical? How does it impact the personality of the Celebrity? These are hidden, less talked about aspects that we must be aware about in order to assess the true impact of the Celebrity Cult on Society. I call it an undesirable occurrence. Celebrities may be upset. Their followers may get angry. But I have my reasons which I will explain in a short while.
Until late seventies, the advertising industry would use models whenever necessary for the products they wanted to promote. Often a particular model would constantly promote a given product. Because they were comparatively unknown faces, their endorsement would not matter. So models, either male or female were used when the product demanded either a male or a female. For example, an advertisement for suits required a stylish male model, while exercise equipment needed a muscular figure. Likewise a girl with beautiful unblemished skin was chosen for a fair use cream. At that time Advertising Agencies would do their best to write a convincing copy. Also the lead time of the advertisement was extremely important. Words were chosen with discretion. These were aimed to be understood by the targeted audience in their real sense. Such was the advertising of those days. In short there was total creativity, complete application of mind, knowledge and elegance.
But with the advent of celebrity cult all has become unknown history. What is happening now? A popular actor says that he could successfully carry out his arduous working of facing daggling lights and long shooting schedules because he has been using a particular brand of hair oil for massage. On another actor endorses a shampoo saying that the particular shampoo is the secret of her long and silky hair. Or a Cricketer would say that a particular brand of car is this is used by him at all times. White lies! People are being fooled. They are made to feel small. And the celebrities celebrate with more money, and even more exposure. Product qualities are thrown in the backburner. Product education is nil.
These are some of the reasons that I denounce Celebrities and the Cult created around them. Least I forget to mention, the photograph that you see on the Page 3 Supplements of leading papers are mostly paid spaces, another highly unethical practice in the print media today.
Today, 23rd March, is Martyrs Day. This is the day that our three of India’s greatest sons – Shahid Bhagat Singh, Shahid Sukhdev Thapar and Shahid Shivram Rajguru were hanged by the cruel British colonialists who looted and destroyed our nation for two centuries.
On this day let us all make the pledge that we cherish the memory of our freedom fighters, our stalwart leaders who have fashioned our nation to what it is today. The freedom that we celebrate and enjoy today are because of their tireless, and brave sacrifices. We also pledge never to get misled or distracted by empty words of the vain, self-glorifying and shameless celebrities – crickets, actors, T V commenters, etc.
I leave you with images of Shahid Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. Please share this blog if you agree with my views.
Thanks for reading!