Say anything you want about heiress Paris Hilton, but admit she (and her team) have done a bang-up job of developing her brand. I don’t think it was her misfortune that her sex video was unofficially released to the public a few years ago, making her an overnight sensation.
While she’s not the richest celebrity, she’s not hurting for popularity. She gets paid hundreds of thousands of dollars just to show up at night clubs.
In addition to working nights, Paris also has a line of perfume and jewelry. I’m not clear if she does any work other than lending her name to the brand.
Paris managed to convince the press that she coined the phrase, “That’s hot.” Every celebrity needs a good catchphrase. Eastwood has, “Do you feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?” that most people contract to the more efficient, “Do you feel lucky, punk?” The Governator has “I’ll be back.” George W. Bush has “nucular strategery.”
Last year (or maybe sometime before), Paris’ cell phone information, which was stored online, was hacked, resulting in more attention from the press. Any press is good press for T-Mobile, whose brand got attached to Paris thanks to her Sidekick. For a while, it seemed like I saw more Sidekicks in the hands of people on the street. T-Mobile couldn’t have paid for better publicity.
The public character Paris Hilton plays may not be that smart, but she and her team have proven to be exceeding brand-savvy.
Updated January 16, 2010 and originally published May 4, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.