Megan, Sydney, Chris
In the reading, the text defines a media figure as an individual who people are familiar with, but who have not actually met. People relate to these unmet figures, as if they have met them in the real world. The text describes the nature of the imaginary social relationships with celebrities that appear in advertising. The degree the people connected may range from just awareness to deep and abiding loyalty. The media figure has some major functions that influence their audience, some of which include: an emotional outlet for positive and negative feelings, influence the behavior of viewers (to live in a particular lifestyle), and last, they celebrate the world of pop culture. Advertisements at times can create illusions of interpersonal contact with viewers because some media figures speak directly out of the television and speak to the audience personally. Through repeated use in an area of social media, the media figure helps viewers create a social web that allows the audience to form relationships, alter existing relationships, and possibly end relationships. We chose to follow Dwayne “the rock” Johnson and Ellen on social media platforms to explore how the media creates these intimate social relationships.
Ellen DeGeneres is an American comedian, talk show host, actress, writer, and producer. She is most famous for her daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres show, which has successfully aired since 2003. Ellen’s fans follow her Instagram, twitter, YouTube channels, and most importantly watch her show on the daily basis. On the other hand, Dwayne Johnson, a popular actor and producer, actively engages his viewers with his Instagram and his twitter. He has over 81 million followers on Instagram and has over 10 million followers on twitter.
The Rock communicates with his fans mainly by the use of Instagram and Twitter. He posts at least once per day, and his posts are mainly aimed at promoting his most recent movies or shows that he stars in. The Rock is involved in many television shows and movies currently, and his main ones that he promoted on his Instagram in the past week are Bay Watch, his show on HBO called “Rock and a Hard Place,” and “Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle”. He also posted an under armor campaign that he is promoting called “Project Rock”. His fitness is a main component of how he interacts with his fans, updating them on his fit life while also promoting products along with it. His posts about the movie Bay Watch that he stars in include other celebrities such as Zac Efron and Michael Phelps. We have learned that the Rock’s social media presence is revolved mainly around his fitness, as well as the promoting all of the forms of media he stars in.
Ellen communicates with her fans through her Instagram and Twitter as well. She however uses her Instagram mainly to promote the Ellen Show. She posts daily updates of sneak peek video clips of who will be on her talk show the next day, or she will post funny things showcasing her funny personality. Ellen’s main goal of her social media accounts is to post about her show trying to gain popularity for her show. She showcases her biggest guests, and tries to hyper her followers up in anticipation for her upcoming episodes.
These two celebrities slightly differ in how they communicate with their audiences. Both of their fame has come from TV or movies, but the way they post on their social media accounts is what makes them different. The Rock posts very lengthy Instagram captions that go very in depth about what he is trying to promote to his fans. Ellen on the other hand normally posts shorter captions with a photo or a video. Both celebrities use the appropriate form of communications towards their fans because the Rock is more aimed at promoting new products or movies that people may not be farmilar with while Ellen is promoting a show that most people already are educated about.
Ellen mainly interacts with her fans on her twitter platform, and people form these connections with her because they see her on her daily talk show. They see a normal friendly hilarious person who conducts interviews and has casual conversations with millions of celebrities and everyday people. Ellen confidently speaks about her opinion to viewers and beyond the laughter, she has an underlying message about giving. Ellen reminds people that we too have the power to make someone else’s life better by sharing our talents and thoughts. Ellen’s talent as a natural comedian brings families and friends together in front of their television to watch her show. Ellen specifically interacts with her fans on her twitter and tweeted one of the most famous selfies a couple of years ago that was one of the most liked and retweeted pictures.
There are a few reasons why celebrities use social media. One of them being for the same reason that any regular person would, to communicate with other. There other motive being using social media is to market themselves. Whether it is for the movie that they are going to be in or a song that is going to be released. Celebrities are the master users of social media because they can efficiently market their product on their own, while companies have entire teams dedicated to social media. The hook that celebrities have that most brands and regular people don’t have is that people are already interested in looking at their photos and learning about the narrative of their lives. For example, The Rock uses his Instagram to promote his movies and TV show by taking videos on set to show his followers what is going on. Ellen also uses her Instagram to promote her TV show by posting funny clips from the show. To get more viewers and giver her followers a heads up, Ellen also posts pictures of who is going to be on the show the next day. By getting this type of traffic on their social media pages, celebrities can be in contact with their supporters and build a relationship backed with loyalty. Social media also allows celebrities to get feedback on their work, which makes there supports feel like they are a part of something. Another reason to follow these celebrities on their social media pages is for entertainment. Supporters and viewers want to know almost everything about who they are following, because it is something they aren’t able to have in their own lives.