Why People Who Don't Like the Kardashians Still Care
[originally posted March 22 2021]
I'm not an expert in marketing, however, I did learn a lot about it in school. After all, I majored in business marketing. I've realized much about social media, publicity, and advertising over the years because of the basic knowledge I attained while at college.
Today, as I began scrolling through posts on Twitter, a tweet popped up:
This tweet was in response to the infamous Kylie Jenner promoting a Go Fund Me page for one of her makeup artists. He needs surgery after suffering injuries from an accident, and people are outraged because Kylie's a multi-millionaire. At one point in time, in fact, she was considered a billionaire. Either way, many were wondering why she promoted a Go Fund Me and only donated $5,000 to support the surgery's costs.
I also don't know why someone who can afford almost anything she wants is promoting a Go Fund Me. However, I have a theory. I imagine this controversial scenario to have begun like this:
Kylie Jenner's makeup artist gets into a car accident and is suffering from severe injuries. He needs necessary surgery so Kylie offered to pay his costs (most of them, at least). She is, essentially, his employer. Then, a publicist decided to 'make it a big deal' by telling Kylie to promote his Go Fund Me. Perhaps the public will donate to help cover the surgery, and perhaps they won't. Perhaps they'll get mad about it on Twitter. Either way, Kylie Jenner can cover the outstanding costs. She's also getting tons of attention from the public as well.
Bad publicity is still publicity. I've recognized this tactic before. Almost every news story about the Kardashians/Jenners fits into one of the following categories: what they wore, what their love lives are like, what they've done that's good for society, and where they've spent (or haven't spent) their money. Whether these things are perceived in either a positive light or negative light, they always gain a ton of attention. These things are easy for reporters and celebrity critics to discuss; they reflect the ideal of an "ultra-wealthy" society.
People love reading or listening to news that involves money. Dreaming of money and all the things one could do with lots of it is easy. It's hard to fight the urge sometimes even though more money doesn't mean more morality. However, it's easy to understand why many people love this type of news. The Kardashians/Jenners know that, too.
Their top news stories involve cheating scandals, mansion tours, and situations that convey their "millionaire mindsets." When we click through comments or tap through news stories about these people, we are suddenly transported into the minds of millionaires. Kardashian fashion is aspirational. Romantic scandals don't seem that bad when someone is absurdly rich. Society is fascinated with these people because they're fascinated with money. Just because someone doesn't make a ton of money doesn't mean they aren't interested in it.
A lot of people became upset when Kylie Jenner promoted a Go Fund Me that would've been easy for her to cover completely. However, promoting it meant extra publicity. People devoured the chance to a) berate her for sharing about it, and b) imagine what they would do if they were her. They subconsciously felt better than Kylie because they knew they would act more morally than her (if she truly hasn't donated the full amount). This whole situation not only gave Jenner more publicity but also made people feel better about themselves. Whether people like it or not, their disappointment in Jenner's decision to promote the Go Fund Me also made them feel like better people. It was, perhaps, a very satisfying feeling.
The Kardashians'/Jenners' posts can make us think, "if I were that rich...." The more posts and news stories about them, the better. As long as they have publicity and people stay fascinated with the "millionaire mindset," this famous family will always stay hyper-relevant in mainstream media.
What do you think about this? Do you agree that their publicists utilize this theory?