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,” said in an interview that stars tend to go on “celebrity shows to revive their careers” to hopefully launch other business models from it.
She added 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 Khloe 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 like Skechersto endorse products in stores and through commercials. They have had their own clothing line with Sears for years, and it was announced last month that they have decided to expand the line for babies at Babies ‘R Us.
Kim is also in the midst of a new business venture — her wedding. International Business Times reports that she is expected to make $21 million dollars for her May 24 wedding to Kanye West. She previously made $17.9 million for her wedding to basketball player Kris Humphries.
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.
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.