Celebrity Endorsement

Some time ago many Saint Lucians watched with envy as West Indies Cricket Captain Darren Sammy was handed the keys to a brand new BMW. I watched Darren accepting his keys with mixed feelings. I was proud of Darren, because God knows how many times he over tanned in the sun waiting for the bus and how many lower end vehicles he drove before he graduated to his BMW. On the other hand, it always seemed that the people who could afford the finer things in life, always get them for ‘free’.

Of course there are conditions of acceptance, some of which restrict what these celebrities can drive, wear, eat or even say. But that seems like a small price to pay for having the coveted luxuries and privileges that many of us will never get to experience. Companies do it for brand awareness and many people strive for success so that they can be on the receiving end of such gifts. Some celebrities even believe that they should receive things for free because they have paid their dues and deserve it.

I used to tell my husband that when I get famous and we get invited to the ‘bourgeois’ events, I will not attend because it will just be feeding the hypocrisy. And when I get given gifts I will donate them to people who actually need them. If I’m not good enough to be invited now or receive these gifts now, then why should my bank balance make me any more worthy?

I have eaten my words. While I am sure I will decline certain invitations and donate some gifts, as a business woman, I understand the value of networking and forming partnerships. I will most certainly attend some events, and my simple desire to taste the finer things in life will tempt me to accept certain gifts.  I can’t kid myself and say I won’t oblige. I also understand the power of giving and receiving.  When the universe gives, you have to graciously receive to allow your blessings to continue. And I will!

It’s funny, (and I am a living example), that we get upset with people around us for doing the same things we turn around and do ourselves. When we are looking to advance ourselves in life, we align ourselves with those whom we believe can propel us to where we want to be.  Never mind how it looks to the outside world, we are fulfilling our dreams. But hey, so is Darren Sammy, J Lo, Tiger Woods, Shaq, and any other celebrity who has ever endorsed a product or accepted a gift. There are also many celebrities who endorse products or align themselves with associations because they have a genuine passion for the product or cause and they want to use their fame to make a difference in the world. But in the end, it still boils down to the same thing – we are all trying to fulfill our dreams and live our best lives.

Life is short… Who doesn’t want something for free?

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