Reality Television “Kashing In”

Do The Kardashian’s ring a bell? Reality television has recently (in the past decade) become a new form of entertainment, in which a person basically sells their life for ratings. These first reality shows began with entertainment such as Big Brother and Fear Factor, which captivated America and regularly took over our TV screens every week. Not only is reality television a form of entertainment, but it can also be used as a form of advertising and promotion for almost any product or service imaginable. Keeping Up With the Kardashians, a reality TV show revolving around a large family of Armenian women, reportedly made $65 million dollars in the past year. How is that even possible, you might ask yourself? Sure, the show in and of itself makes its fat steady paycheck, but the promotions that come from the show is what makes the real money.

According to sources, Kim Kardashian charges $10,000 to tweet and anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 for appearances, not to mention fashion shoots and her recent wedding coverage, which are equally as profitable. But how legitimate are these Twitter celebrity endorsements? Do the celebrities even care about the products they support, or are they in it entirely for the money? It turns out that the OFT, Office of Fair Trading, is cracking down and going after people promoting online without disclosing their “affiliation.” The OFTs reason for doing this is to maintain credibility and give the right to the viewer of knowing the intentions behind the tweet or appearance. According to sources, “The US’s Federal Trade Commission insists that endorsements must contain words like ‘ad’ or ‘spun’ to indicate to consumers that the tweet was paid for.” This gives consumers fair warning that the advertisement they are exposed to is paid for, perhaps altering its effectiveness.

Kim Kardashian is one such celebrity who uses her Twitter endorsements as a substantial portion of her income. Why would anyone pay a girl with no real talent (other than having one strong asset [pun intended]) such a large sum of money just for one appearance or tweet? The secret behind why people are spending so much money for their product to be advertised on Twitter is because every time a person with such a large fan base Tweets (especially reality or movie stars), word of mouth spreads. Anyone in the Advertising or Public Relations industry would agree that word of mouth is one of, if not, the most important form of promotion for any business. Even though Kim Kardashian may not genuinely like the product she is promoting, because she is getting paid to do it, it is a smart and profitable move for both her and the business involved. These products and services range anywhere from jewels and designer clothing such as Vera Wang, to laser services and QuickTrim, the Kardashian’s GNC product for losing weight. This same kind of ever-flowing income stems from the Kardashians’ many appearances; one appearance by someone as famous as a Kardashian translates into millions in profits the business will make in future sales. One can say it is a form of investment, as the company invests money to then make a significant profit in the end. Moral of the story: I’m jealous of the Kardashian’s.