people as brands

A couple of us attended another speaker panel at Advertising Week yesterday - this one centered around brand buzz, and people as brands. The panel included a bunch of people from large agencies, a moderator who mumbled all of their introductions (thanks!) - and most notably - Andre Harrell, CEO, Nu America Records, who proceeded to steal the show.

Andre entertained the crowd with a very funny story about Whitney Houston, Eddie Murphy, and Bobby Brown at a party that he attended. This was in response to a question of "how did Whitney Houston turn into white trash, and Bobby Brown become a star again?"

A couple of great points were made by Andre. The first - that the current multi-cultural youth generation has been raised on hip hop. Rock and roll has gone out of style. This was to his point that people - or brands don't go out of style, but attitudes do. The rock and roll attitude of previous generations is out - and the hyper success attitude of successful hip hop stars is in.

Another great point he made about youth culture was the impact that celebrity culture has on kids. Today, kids have an extremely strong desire to achieve success. Financial success. Now. The Olsen twins are worth billions. Teenage hip hop stars are worth millions. And it's all flaunted in their face on Cribs. This generation of tweens has an insatiable desire for success - and brands that understand that are going to succeed. This is the youngest generation ever with an appreciation of luxury brands.

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