Paris Hilton Launches New Business Venture

Does anyone remember the old SNL skit advertising "Bad Idea" jeans? This hilarious parody of Levis ads portrayed the wearers of "Bad Idea" jeans making horrible decisions. People sporting "Bad Idea" jeans would say things like, "Now that I have kids, I feel much better having a gun in the house." It was funny stuff, but it made a good point: There are brands that are a really "Bad Idea."

Today I was horrified to learn of the birth of what may be the WORST brand in history – Paris Hilton. Parlux Fragrances, Inc. has signed an agreement to develop and market the Paris Hilton Cosmetics line. Based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Parlux also plans to manufacture Paris Hilton watches. (Because it's important to be on time for hair extensions)

To top it all off, Parlux's CEO released a statement yesterday saying, "Paris Hilton is an extraordinary young lady with an ever-growing international following." Extrordinary? Well, that depends on your definition. Hilton was recently branded as a "partytard" by Defamer.com. and is well known for her porn star capabilities. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not buying lipstick from someone whose sex videos are all over the Internet.

I'm under the impression that when most women shop for cosmetics, they look for a solid name in femininity, class, and understatement. Last time I checked, this party girl is anything but. Just today, the New York Post headlined with a story of Paris and Britney Spears hitting the town without any underwear.

If Parlux plans to make a successful brand out of panty-less Paris, they should probably buy her some undergarments before she starts making public appearances. I'm wondering what market Parlux will target for the Paris line. Moms with tweens may be hesitant to purchase it, and the 18-24 market is already pretty comfortable with brands like Maybelline and Clinique.

What do you think? Is it possible to build a successful cosmetics line around Paris the party girl? Or is Miss Hilton the ultimate "Bad Idea" brand?

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15 Comments

  • Gary Bourgeault (bizofshowbiz.

    This seems more of a dumb move to me by the company. Nobody takes Hilton seriously. When she has tried to be taken seriously in the past, it has horribly failed.

    The problem is she's branded herself as a mindless bimbo who is incredibly stupid with her contrived decisions. To take that image and attempt to be taken seriously breaks with everything she's branded herself as.

    You've got to be consistent or you won't be successful. Hilton is anything but consistent.

  • Big

    This sounds like a brand designed with the unique buying state of customers in mind.

  • Cindy

    classy and feminine...sounds pretty old to me.i don't think girls are always following those guidelines those days.and occasionally,we can be anybody behaving entirely out of control as we like.paris hilton is completely out there.she's full of energy,as least she should be credited for that.

  • Jimmy Blue

    Well, if the Post printed it then it must be fact, right? They would never exagerate or even fabricate a story to sell copy would they? You think you know her because you have read a lot about her in the press or gotten the latest scoop from some talk show? In my opinion it is the media that are the real whores. Give the girl a break.

  • a marketer

    There was a South Park episode with Paris Hilton that seems to have inspired these marketers... or at least gave someone the idea for the business plan.

  • Diane Corriette

    Paris Hilton has the money to sit and do nothing but live off daddy and whatever multi billionaire she ends up marrying. So I think its great she has decided to use her greatest asset, herself as her brand, and go out there and set herself up in business. No doubt she will have the best advisors and everyone doing everything for her, but she will still have some responsibility, responsibility that she really doesn't have to take on. She could spend the next 10 years at least just partying. So good for her, and I am sure there will be loads of people willing to buy from the "bad girl" image and why should she be blamed for that? She's just making the best out of a great situation.

  • Mansur

    "I'm under the impression that when most women shop for cosmetics, they look for a solid name in femininity, class, and understatement. "
    Sure, if your going to work. But, when your out for a fun night around town that’s the last thing you want..... Unless of course your the type that goes to plays and wine tastings on your friday nights. People want to be wild when they get the chance, Paris Hilton brings that out in even the most conservative of us!

  • Mansur

    "I'm under the impression that when most women shop for cosmetics, they look for a solid name in femininity, class, and understatement. "
    Sure, if your going to work. But when your out for a fun night around town that’s the last thing you want..... Unless of course your the type that goes to plays and wine tastings on your friday nights. People want to be wild when they get the chance, Paris Hilton brings that out in even the most conservative of us!

  • Darren

    "Maybe it's just me, but I'm not buying lipstick from someone whose sex videos are all over the Internet."

    That's a charming notion, but I'm afraid it doesn't apply to the masses. I mean, 75,000 people bought her awful CD.

  • Glenn Cressman

    I am embarrassed as a marketing professional with experience in brand management to even be reading about this as a news item. Why are fame and fortune the only requirements for media attention and, as is the case here, product development. And why is there no prerequisite for fame? Why does the media forgive Paris Hilton and why do companies like Parlux invest in her as a brand? Her indiscretions and misbehavior should be damaging her brand, not strengthening it. Unfortunately, she is not the only benefactor of a media environment that seems to condone inappropriate and contemptible behavior. Kate Moss is not worthy of more modeling work. Tommy Lee is not worthy of Supernova, and OJ is definitely not worthy of a book deal. I could rant all day about the message this sends to our children, but since we're on the topic of branding, I will attempt to limit my comments to that.

    As marketers and brand champions, what can we do about this? Obviously we can agree, in our own roles, to refrain from such poor branding association decisions. But what else can we do to reverse the trend?

    We will spread the word in communication channels such as this one that this strategy is bad for branding and bad for business.

    We will each personally convey our contempt of this activity to the branding champions with whom we interact.

    We will boycott sensationalism promoted by celebrity news publications.

    We will write about the strength and merits of brand association from reputable and admirable sources (see Tiger Woods, Christopher Reeve, and Bono).

    We will deliver this message in our branding seminars and consulting engagements.

    We will do what we can.

    And we will spend more time with our children.

  • Mike

    The very idea that you would write a story about her, good or bad, is precisely why her Brand gains the strength it does.
    Publicity good or bad keeps her name in the eye of the public and a large degree of the public tolerates if not accepts that her bad behavior because it makes for entertainment.
    Quit writing about her and she will fade but don't expect your alternative stories to gain as much attention.
    It sucks but bad news sells and by default, in this case, will fertilize the seeds of curiosity in the demographic that would buy her products.Why? Because they identify with her.

  • John

    Paris Hilton does have a reputation for partying no doubt. However, does having an online sex video have anything to do with her as a person or her business sense???? NO. And not wearing underwear, how taboo.......... Kind of hot, but not really shocking stuff. She is a celebrity and therefore should watch her actions more closely, but she doesn't, and that is why she is such great gossip. If having amerature porn on the internet makes you a bad person, then the millions of Americans who do are in trouble. In conclusion, if you are going to take shots at Ms. Hilton, and are talking about her poor her business sense, then use facts about her previous business endevous to back that up. All I heard in this article, is Paris has a new brand of watches coming out, and they will suck because she sucks dick; or her watches are bad because she is a slut.

  • consumer whore

    I can't wait to buy every product no matter what the cost is. I'll be envied by all my other vapid friends who don't give a damm about what matters in life. Yay me!!! "Daddy, if you love me you'll buy me fake tits too!!"

  • David Carlson

    I like your viewpoint. The problem is that money and fame have been the leading benchmark for a long time. Hopefully things are changing. And changing quick. Because, at least according to me, it is a bit odd to talk about fair trade and global warming at the same time as you speak about Paris Hilton partying without underwear. I think the situation will find a happy and natural end. And that is probably not another PH product…