It was announced only weeks ago that Beyoncé had signed a $50 million ‘Creativity Partnership’ contract with Pepsi. Which is basically media relations jargon for an endorsement deal with collaborations on additional projects.
Most of us will raise an eyebrow at the $50 million check as completely ridiculous, but the point is that Pepsi feels the money it is spending will be nothing compared to the sales this partnership will bring in. Beyoncé has a huge fan base, a large majority of them being young and easily influenced.
If watching a One Direction concert or following Lady Gaga on Twitter doesn’t convince you that children and youth are particularly susceptible to celebrity endorsements then read this study or this one.
Plus, is it just me or is the public getting increasingly apathetic when it comes to hypocritical, contradictory, and downright shady celebrity promotions? I need only two words to prove my point: Paula Deen. Seriously, how is this woman still on TV and magazine covers?
I think we’ve been so overwhelmed with Reality TV, crooked Wall Street tycoons, and cheating athletes that we can no longer feel that an outcry will make any difference. So we begrudgingly accept what is unacceptable behavior.
The real danger here is that we’re setting the new norm. Young and susceptible boys and girls are seeing that damaging and blatantly self-serving behavior isn’t only tolerated but celebrated.
It may seem like I’m getting worked up over just another celebrity product endorsement, but what message does it send when Beyoncé partners with Michelle Obama to fight childhood obesity, in a country plagued by obesity, and then goes on to promote a sugary soda for $50 million?
Beyoncé has publicly lauded Pepsi for ‘embracing creativity’ since some of the $50 million will fund her videos, photoshoots, and other ‘creative content’. Is anyone else’s BS meter hitting an all-time high with this?
It’s frustrating enough when celebrities blatantly sell out for a paycheck or contradict themselves in the messagingm, but don’t insult my intelligence by trying to convince me that this is really all for the sake of ‘the arts’.
I think as adults we can stop slapping our foreheads in frustration over these sorts of things and start discussions. Celebrities have countless platforms to pitch and promote their products so fans are only hearing one message. Asking the question, “What is the motivation here?” starts independent thinking, well thought-out choices, and likely celebrity endorsements that aren’t worth as much as $50 million.