Style Celebrity Features

Tuesday 30 September 2014

SPOTLIGHT: Celebrities and their lifestyle side ventures

Published 01/08/2014 | 02:30

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Kim Kardashian Hollywood game
Gwyneth Paltrow
Lauren Conrad

Sometimes being rich and famous just isn't good enough; sometimes you need to be a little richer. It seems celebrities are not content with the millions they earn singing, acting or sex taping, and are taking on lucrative side ventures - not just endorsements, but other businesses bearing their A-list name.

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Kim Kardashian is perhaps the most successful celebrity salesperson, making a career of selling her life and image.

No one quite remembers how she became famous (it was a sex tape, for those unfamiliar) but boy, do we like buying crap with her face on it now.

Mrs Kanye West has endorsed everything from fake tan to candles. However her latest venture, a game imitating her life, could be her most successful to date. You're not saving the world from zombies as a player, or running over prostitutes with your stolen car - you're trying to get as famous as possible.

You can start feuds with other celebrities and even pay real money for clothes for your character. In fact some analysts are predicting the game could earn over $200m this year alone.

If you're a marketer and have a product you want to sell, there's definitely a celebrity to endorse that. One Direction and Justin Bieber have the teen girl market sown up; David Beckham is your man if you're targeting the wives of middle aged men.

Every company can bag a celebrity to suit their budget - from A-listers to desperate bargain basement former reality stars.

They no longer need to explain how a product works or what it will do for you, they simply sell you a little bit of a celebrity's image. Wearing those David Beckham boxers won't give you a six pack, wearing that brand new Britney Spears lingerie won't hide the fact you like cake... a lot.

But celebs are a savvy bunch (no, really) and are cottoning on to the fact that while selling someone else's product can net megabucks, selling your own can net even more. Cheryl Cole (or whatever her name is these days) has even launched her own fragrance after working with mega-brand L'Oreal for years.

It's gone beyond products now. This month's cover of American Vogue features the beautiful actress Blake Lively, arguably more famous for her endless legs and covetable mane than for any roles she's played. The fashion bible is promoting her new "lifestyle" website, designed to get women logging on in an attempt to emulate Blake's life by buying the stuff she "edits" for the masses. Is she trying to be the new Gwyneth by marketing her lifestyle, or is it too aspirational to ever work?

Lauren Conrad, laurenconrad.com

The "artist" formerly known as LC has come a long way since her days on Laguna Beach and The Hills. With few obvious talents apart from a purported flair for fashion design, she has managed to parlay her reality show fame into a quite respectable career as a style and beauty guru. Lately though, it appears Lauren is adding life coach to her CV, with posts about dealing with feuding friends and how to host the perfect party. Lauren is getting married soon, so her site is now littered with wedding tips, and out of these three celeb examples, it's definitely the most accessible (and least offensive) - more of a guide to how humans can copy her than a "look how great I am" money-spinner.

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Gwyneth Paltrow, goop.com

You either love her or loathe her, but many find Gwyneth's particular brand of Goop-iness unbearable. From outfits that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars recommended in her seasonal fashion "must-haves" to her announcement of the conscious uncoupling of her marriage, Paltrow's site really gets people's goat. It started as a newsletter and has morphed into an empire, and it's still going strong despite a general sense of distaste at the dispensing of "advice" from someone who inhabits an altogether different world than us mere mortals.

Goop is the model for other celebrities to follow, but could it be more lucrative than another Oscar for the award-winning actress?

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Blake Lively, preserve.us

The glamorous blonde may be married to Ryan Reynolds and endorse products for Gucci and L'Oreal, but you can be just like her if you follow all the reams of advice promised on her new website, apparently. Not content with appearing on magazine covers worldwide, Blake has decided to create her own online portal filled with advice on how to live a more Blake-ish life. Oh, and there's a handy online shop so you can buy stuff she likes too.

The whole thing is quite pretentious and OTT - there's an "intimacy" section that waffles on about her husband's cheeks after shaving - but the public could take to Blake's brand of life-coaching. Although there will be those of us that find an A-list millionaire telling us how to live our lives a bit rich...

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The best celeb ads

Brad Pitt's Chanel campaign

Ah, you'd forgot about those ads, hadn't you? The strange melodramatic 'artsy' ones that got everyone talking - about how confused they were. Brad gazed into the distance and said odd, mysterious phrases.

Maybe the writers hoped that because it was shot in black and white, we'd not notice he was talking in gobbledygook. Or perhaps if you were too uncultured to understand what was going on, you didn't deserve to.

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Pele's erection pills project

Football legend Pele became the public face of Viagra in 2002. He said it was important work to be involved with -nothing to do with all the zeroes at the end of his cheque. However his fee didn't get him to actually use the product, oh no. The Brazilian denied he needed to use the drug of course, it was for less virulent men than himself. He was simply encouraging those not as Lothario-like as himself to give it a whirl.

Irish Independent

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