Continuing with last week’s theme of long-term brands that “Evolve with the Times” this week’s post focuses on celebrity brands that have sustained through the decades. This past week, it was announced that Dolly Parton launched a line of baking products with Duncan Hines and Martha Stewart collaborated with Oreos.
Probably everyone in the family from first grader Johnny to Molly the great grandma has heard of Dolly Parton. Born in 1946 and from Tennessee, she is most known for her country music. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999. Only recently, it appears, more press has focused on her songwriting abilities with the Whitney Houston hit I Will Always Love You being lyrics that Parton wrote. The new movie Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody, references Parton and those lyrics.
But let’s start from the beginning. At just ten years old she was featured in a TV variety show. A few years later, at thirteen, she was on the Grand Ole Opry. Her first “recorded single” was at age sixteen. She moved to Nashville after high school graduation. By 1971 she had a number one hit, Joshua. Then later, more hits with Jolene, Love is Like a Butterfly and I Will Always Love You. She’s had so many musical accolades that it would take a whole article to list them all. Go to country music hall of fame to learn more.
So how has she evolved with the times to become an icon? After her musical hits she ventured into Hollywood. She appeared on TV talk shows, specials and movies–9 to 5 was one of the notable ones. She also collaborated with other singers like Linda Ronstadt, Wille Nelson and Kenny Rogers. Then later created her own theme park Dollywood. She added philanthropist to her resume with Imagination Library, a program that gives a free book a month to kids from birth to five years old.
She became a living legend in 2004 when the Library of Congress gave her the Living Legend Award. She was also granted the National Medal of Arts and is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In addition she has a Lifetime Achievement Award and so many other awards. But, even with all those honors she is still evolving with the recent Dolly Parton Baking Collection from Duncan Hines that is now on store shelves. She also wrote and produced a new song for her 77th birthday based on a dream she had. Dolly Parton is a Celebrity Brand for the long-term.
Sources: Country Music Hall of Fame
This week Martha Stewart seems to be evolving with the times by joining a Metaverse launch to promote the new The Most Oreo Oreo. The product will be on store shelves on January 30. The cookie packages have a QR code that lets buyers play online games and gives them chances to win prizes in the Oreoverse. Go to Oreoverse.oreo.com for more information.
She is literally a household name and most would probably know her just by her first name, Martha. She was born in New Jersey in 1941. At age 13 she started to model. The seed of her lifestyle brand was after she helped restore a 19th century Federal-style farmhouse and she learned gourmet cooking by reading Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. In 1976 she began a catering business which brought her attention. Then a handful of years later her first book Entertaining came out. She continued to write books thorough the 1980’s and in 1990 published a magazine, Martha Stewart Living. In the 90’s she started a syndicated television show that ran through 2004. She then ventured into products with her Martha Stewart Everyday line. Her previous work as a stockbroker may have helped in listing her multi-channel media and marketing firm, Omnimedia, on the New York Stock Exchange in 1999. Accusations of insider trading and jail time involving a stock sale didn’t stop her from continuing her business and efforts. In 2005 she starred as herself in the daytime show Martha which ran through 2012. She continues to be on TV with Martha Bakes, Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Party Challenge and Bakeaway Camp with Martha Stewart. She has produced numerous other articles, books, TV shows, and products and has collaborated with celebrities like Mark Burnett and Donald Trump.
Martha Stewart is another celebrity brand that has proven longevity.
Sources: Britannica, CNN, Biography