Family Branding, Family Ties (Tie-Ins)


Epilogue to Yesterday

First things first it’s Steve Martin’s birthday today. I must have tuned into that psychic wave or something. Happy Birthday Steve. All the comments about you making crappy movies were merely meant as encouragement to keep doing stuff like Shopgirl.

Family Branding, Family Ties (Tie-Ins)

Recently, when going to rate my buddies on AOL (more and more of whom are having professional photo-resumes and Playboy-quality spreads versus a Coolpix snapshot at a birthday), there was an article about how Ashlee Simpson is stepping out of the shadow of teen superstar sister Jessica Simpson.

It seems as if there is a real trend of pushing family ties as family brands…


  • Backstreet boy Something-I-forgot Carter and little brother Nick Carter (By the way Nicky, I was in Europe when you were topping the charts with that insipid little “Crazy Little Party Girl” track - I know your skeletons and I can be bought off)
  • Beyonce “BootyLicious” Knowles and her sister “Booty Lite” Knowles
  • The Olsen Twins, note focus on that brandable last name
  • Steve Urkel and Stefan Urkel, note focus on the brandable last name
  • The Powerpuff Girls, note focus on that brandable last name
  • Hillary Duff and Clone Duff, note focus on that brandable last name

When people become brands, do we lose a certain bit of our humanity and individuality? Not to descend (yet again) into my fascination with Baudrillard, but in some sense to say The Olsen Twins, I’m referring to a corporate juggernaut, not two girls. Henceforth, I will differentiate between two girls that gestated in the same womb as The Olsen Twins I will refer to their media simulation, or new brand / human identity as The Olsen Twins(™).

You may argue that Halston, or Ralph Lauren were people who became brands and there was no question like this being asked. That is a subtle error.

The Olsen Twins have not licensed their approval like:

“Eat Weetabix, it makes you cool!”


“We just wrapped the most insipid TV show ever, Full House, with more “awws” per minute than a babies playing in a tub of marshmallows with bunnies, we’re going to Disney World!”

No, The Olsen Twins (™) are a lifestyle, an existence, the eradication of a person to a full time ‘acting job.’ The mutation into a walking breathing brand. “The Truman Show” gave us a person adopted by a corporation, it’s clear to me that the adoption of people by corporations has already happened. The next phase, the phase where we are now, is where the person is the corporation.

I’m not sure who handles their marketing or business strategy but the girls should give this person an extra bonus or something because at least the girls control the corporation they are.

Extra bonus to that business handler: The Hilton girls are living the same Oneself as Glossy Magazine Ad and aren’t getting wealthy off of it. Yes, I know they’ve got the cash already, but if you’re going to sell your identity make it a corporate annuity, not a one-time sale.