Written by Alan Ng
Edited by Jenkin Au
Photography by Alan Ng
In the culture of advertising and branding through new media, traditional modes of advertising of idols and celebrities has changed drastically; from expectations of company interests, to niche marketing, and now more predominantly towards the concepts of “self branding”. Dominant figures of society have been increasingly using the process of matching brands to their notions of self-identity.
The trend of advertising is now leaning towards the focus of the branded persona and it greatly affects popular culture. Street culture icons, and hip-hop figures dictates what type of brand matches their persona, and subsequently, attaches the brand to their own persona. This could cause both positive and negative effects to either the person connecting with the brand, or to the brand itself.
Often times, marketers might argue that anyone representing your product is a positive for the growth of the company, but if a brand is targeted towards a specific audience, brands must be careful and monitor on who is associating themselves with the brand. Often times, artists use this method to quickly draw the following of a successfully brand. On the other hand, emerging labels and brands seek artists to sponsor in order to ride their success and publicity. This investment could be economic or would require a large sum of money depending of the status of the celebrity. Whether the person accepts the brand or not, it creates a notion of self-branding, and the artist automatically attaches him or herself to the brand.
Advertisers in the future cannot simply target celebrities, but celebrities themselves will hold the final decision on choices of associating one-self with brands, which in relation with the evolution of new media, alters everything in the adverting industry. Within street culture and hip-hop, using success brands and labels to depict branding in music videos allow us to see how artist creates a brand for himself or herself. In retrospective, anyone can self-brand when they have achieved a certain level of recognition.