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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Amanda Gorman’s Estée Lauder Contract: A Study in Poetic Justice.

The moment when the 23-year-old poet Amanda Gorman read her work “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021, on the steps of the Capitol in her sunny yellow coat seemed to cause the entire country to go into a collective swoon was captured on video and will be broadcast on the History Channel on January 20, 2021.

Although, to be fair, Gorman, who signed what may be one of the most comprehensive representation agreements in the history of the beauty industry, as well as a swath of unanticipated benefactors, is also a winner.

For those who don’t know what it means, it means Ms. Gorman will be the first Estée Lauder “Global Changemaker,” as opposed to other titles such as spokeswoman, ambassador, or “face,” although she is all of those things, too.

In today’s consumer reality, this is more than a simple semantic shift; it reflects a shift in the power dynamic in which the influence of real people can outweigh the purely transactional nature of the celebrity model relationship, and in which substance is particularly prized, as for-profit corporations are under increasing pressure to demonstrate that they represent something other than – well, profit.

Especially in the current range of brand/celebrity partnerships, even with the announcement of Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s joint Tiffany collaboration, which will donate $2 million to historically Black schools and universities, that is a significant amount of money. The term is used in all meanings.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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