chapter  9
23 Pages


Many global brands avoid even mentioning products in an attempt to create synonymy between their brand and the celebrity endorser. Buying products seems modest compared to undergoing surgery. This is why advertisers are happy to pay celebrities to be their shill: someone employed to entice others. The advertising industry pays little attention to the laws of time and motion. The evidence of people's senses tells them that, as they get older, so their bodies start to wither: skin gets wrinklier, waists get fatter, and hair gets thinner. An empirical study by Steven Kates provides evidence of what he calls "identity projects". "Consumption is reflexive," he concludes, meaning that products are used to achieve status and "consumer practices are read and displayed with interpretive frameworks that incorporate explicit concerns about inclusion, exclusion, social meaning, classification of people and objects, and the privileged status of this knowledge".