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.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.