Branding, the practice of artists turning themselves into commodities that they can sell, is extremely prevalent in the television industry — especially in reality television.
June Deery, author of “Consuming Reality: the Commercialization of Actual Entertainment,” says that the most obvious of example of branding is the Kardashian family, as they were able to turn their reality show into fashion lines for both teens and children, a nail polish line with OPI, and a book “Kardashian Konfidential.”
The Kardashian family empire began in 2007 with the premiere of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” The E! reality show has gone on to have nine seasons, and three spin-off series, “Kourtney and Kim Take Miami” which later became “Kourtney and Kim Take Miami,” “Kourtney and Kim Take New York,” and “Khloe and Lamar.”
Due to the popularity of the show, they have signed contracts with larger brands such as Skechers and Sears to create and endorse products in stores and through commercials. They also have worked with various companies to endorse their products on Twitter. Business Insider reports that Kim Kardashian makes “$10,000 per Tweet from her contract with in-stream advertiser Adly.” She also reportedly makes $25,000 per tweet when she mentions Armani.
The Kardashian empire has not always been met with praise. In the past, the Kardashian Kard was taken off the market after receiving criticism for its high fees. Recently, the shows that have made them household names have been coming under scrutiny for being staged and fake, which has caused a decline in ratings. It has also been reported that “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” has caused strains in relationships with those featured on the show such as Kim’s ex-husband Kris Humphries and Khloe’s estranged husband Lamar Odom.
Regardless, the Kardashian brand does not seem to be suffering. Celebrity Networth reports that Kim is worth $40 million due to her branding, Kourtney is worth $18 million and Khloe is worth $20 million.