Team Jolie and Team Anniston Finally Agree: It’s Time for Brad 3.0
By definition, brand dilution is the weakening of a brand through its overuse.
Well if you call overuse, being in the news constantly for being the most famous and beautiful couple alive, or box-office stars, or global humanitarians, or cancer-awareness boosters, or peripatetic parents of six, or just being constantly photographed for every life event, then I guess Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, by definition, would have experienced brand dilution.
Up until today, when the glamorous couple announced their intention to divorce, they dodged that bullet.
Peeling back the onion a bit, thanks to every media outlet from CNN (who announced the divorce with “Breaking News” previously reserved for the latest terror attack in New York) to TMZ, it appears that all was not rosy in Jolie-Pitt world.
Sources say she was “fed up with Brad’s consumption of weed and alcohol mixed with what she believes is an anger problem that was dangerous for the children.”
Those are tough accusations for any spouse to make. But if you have, according to Forbes, earned a combined $555m since 2004, such public squabbling can do serious damage to one’s reputation, brand value, and bottom line.
Heck, it took nearly a decade for people to forgive Brad for unceremoniously dumping America’s sweetheart. And even though it is quite likely that Jennifer Anniston is high-fiving Courtney Cox right this minute, the real fall out of the divorce is TBD.
Whether Angelina’s accusations are accurate, doesn’t matter. They are out there and believable enough. And frankly its been so long since she made-out with her brother at the Academy Awards or wore Billy Bob Thornton’s blood in a vial around her neck, that people forgot her cray-cray past and tend to support the humanitarian cancer survivor over the cad.
As a brand strategist, I think Mr. Pitt should heed Michelle Obama’s advice when she suggested, “when they go low, we go high.”
Specifically, in effort to stave off his personal brand dilution, Brad should, in this order:
- Shave. Get a haircut. Get some sleep.
- Immediately create a parenting plan so he sees his children often and is photographed doing so.
- Go back to New Orleans and make another big donation to the Katrina relief. Maybe even be photographed emptying a truck full of supplies.
- Steer clear of weed and booze.
- Refrain from dating.
- Work with a really talented, creative team of Branding and PR strategists to assess the damage, determine public opinion, and devise a short and long-term strategy to re-introduce Brad 3.0.
Fortunately for Brad, Americans have short attention spans, and there is plenty of precedent for reinvention. Just ask Bill Clinton.
For now, let’s wish the best for the children and hope for Brad that the third time will be the charm.