Teaching Brangelina and other celebrities how to be better economists.

Commentary about business and finance.
July 25 2008 11:44 AM

Babies for Sale

Teaching Brangelina and other celebrities how to be better economists.

(Continued from Page 1)

Time:one to two weeks after birth to allow for breathing room and for a bit of suspense. Given that the baby photos must be shared with the public, the final episode of the pregnancy can be timed to be in concert with the final episode of the season. Synergy is crucial when you're managing a brand.

Money: Either follow the NWHOG charity model or give the pictures away for free. Morality is keeping you from maximizing profits, but that's what makes you a PSP.

Advertisement

The Reclusive Artist Type
Objective:RATs' purpose is to keep the paparazzi as far away from them and their children as possible.

Distribution:From an economist point of view, RATs have the most counterintuitive model. In order to keep the paparazzi away, you need to make the baby's life more public than you'd like. Flooding the market will overwhelm the supply side of the equation and correspondingly reduce demand for the pictures. The pictures should be of good-enough quality to be printed in a magazine, so the paparazzi aren't needed to take higher-quality shots than those provided. Also, a blog outreach strategy could strip the glossies and tabloids of their power. After a few weeks of this overload, the public should lose interest since there are only so many times somebody can look at the same adorable face. You're trying to induce nausea, not compliments.

Nicole Kidman is a role model for RATs everywhere. She and husband Keith Urban have reportedly turned down million-dollar paydays. They haven't decided whether to release any photos at all, but if they're smart economists, they will. Otherwise, the exclusivity of pictures on the market will spike demand and lead to incentives for hawkish paparazzi.

Time: The spate should begin ASAP. Hospital photos should be followed by pictures of the homecoming, the newborn's room, and the newborn's diapers after they've been soiled.

Money: $0

The key takeaway for celebrities is that you control the supply chain. Act like your child's publicist—control the narrative, manage the appearances, and play to the audience. You should be used to that kind of lifestyle.

  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Dec. 19 2014 4:15 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? Staff writer Lily Hay Newman shares what stories intrigued her at the magazine this week.