What’s On

#sowhoknew: Keeping away from the Kardashians

Steve Blakeman, OMD

It’s Advertising Week in New York and one of the standout sessions was the interview of Kris Jenner, the mum and manager (momager?) of the Kardashian clan.

It seems that her brood are pretty much associated with any kind of brand category you can care to think of, from fashion to fragrance to pharmaceuticals.

Describing her girls’ lives as ‘colourful’ (that’s got to be the understatement of the year) she acknowledged that more conservative marketers were likely to stay away from any association with Brand Kardashian. However she believes brands such as Kotex reach out to them “because we are successful, and they have an open mind about it,” adding that “they realise it’s a modern world”.

Their power on social platforms is undeniable. Kim alone has 18.5 million followers on Twitter and nearly 10 million on Instagram. Collectively the family has a combined 62 million followers on Twitter. To put that into perspective, it’s almost twice as many as Barack Obama. Or put another way, its more followers than One Direction, Miley Cyrus, Bill Gates, Paris Hilton and Snoop Dogg — put together…

And with the emergence of the younger siblings Kendall and Kylie plus a foray into the video sharing site Keek, you can expect that number to rise ever more rapidly.

But it does beg one big question. Given that their (often tawdry) lives are played out in full view of the tabloid press with lurid stories about supposed infidelity and alleged substance abuse surely there must be an increasing number of brands who would question whether they should keep up with or keep well away from the Kardashians.


The author, Steve Blakeman, is the CEO of OMD Asia Pacific
Mr Blakeman is a Contributor to Digital Market Asia’s editorial commentary; more of his views can be found under his column #sowhoknew that kicks off on September 26, 2013…

Steve Blakeman

Steve Blakeman is the Global Media Lead - Nestlé at Mindshare. Previously, he was the Managing Director - Global Accounts, OMD Europe. Previously, he was the CEO, Asia Pacific – OMD. Prior to that, he was Global Chief Integration Strategy Officer (Asia Pacific) for IPG Mediabrands (Initiative & Universal McCann). He has also had stints as worked as Managing Partner at Omnicom Media Group owned media agency, PHD where he successfully launched their second office in the UK. He began his career at JWT and has over two decades of experience in advertising, media and marketing communications.