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Rescuing the Britney Spears image


March 22, 2008/23.59

Lucire 2008 beauty | The global fashion magazineWith all the negative attention that Britney Spears gets, is it a good time to be marketing her Believe fragrance? It’s what we’ve alluded to in our beauty article online today.
   We hope Ms Spears will get well—and that the paparazzi lay off her a little. Unfortunately, the Britney economy is worth hundreds of millions of dollars per annum, thanks to an appetite out there for negative news on the pop star.
   There’s a valid argument to say she brought a lot of this on to herself: driving without restraining her child properly in her car, or going out on the town with an absence of underwear.
   Her family is wise to rein in some of this behaviour: her father, Jamie, for example, is selling some of her seven cars and trying to bring Britney back down to earth.
   It’s a double-edged sword. The quirky, inexplicable behaviours she has engaged in have helped up her profile, and that, in some way, drives the Britney economy. The quieter she gets, the less likely that she stays in the public consciousness.
   The best thing to do is probably to lie low and come out with a comeback single or album, having reinvented herself and finding an image that ties in more accurately to how the public is feeling. History might give hints on where Britney Spears can position herself by the turn of the decade. She can brand herself out of her troubles—and she might just have enough clout with the record labels to do so.
   But, if she lies too low, what happens to products such as Britney Spears Believe, bearing her name?
   Answer: they might be able to maximize their investment through authenticity. Rather than say that a certain product has been inspired by Britney, go inside her home and show that she is actively working on it during her recuperation.
   ‘Britney gets her act together,’ the headlines might read—and she can slowly begin showing that she is not a victimized pop star but someone prepared to take charge and deal with her problems. Get agreement with her family to do this.
   Make it real—and feed the Britney economy, paparazzi, licensees and the public. By the time she’s ready with her new image and new music, she’ll have based it on two years of more positive press. Her core fans, then older, more sensible themselves, will appreciate a more inspirational Britney.
   In fact, her recent downfall is a good catalyst to this new direction: if there’s one thing the public loves more than a feel-bad story, it’s the turn-your-life-around story.
   Ask Oprah Winfrey. You can do exceptionally well with them.

Related articles
Lucire: ‘Expressing youth’ (2008)
Lucire: ‘At the Crossroads with Britney Spears’ (2002)

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