Influence : Seraphine & the appeal to celebrity


The birth of William and Kate’s son not only fed British tabloid, but made a French stylist rich as well.

Based in London, Séraphine became famous over the Channel by dressing such celebrities as the Princess of Wales while she was pregnant. But showing celebrities wearing less than £100.00 nursing dresses was nothing short of brilliant. As a result, some of them were out of stock for a while.

Competitive Intelligence professionals, as well as marketing and communication professionals, always meet when it comes to influence. And this website is based upon some arguments known under the name of fallacies.

One of them is called appeal to celebrity, or, in latin, argumentum ad verecundiam. The core of it is : if the brand X is used by a celebrity C, then, this proves the brand’s worth.

The fallacy of this argument is double :

1/ The celebrity is no expert to evaluate the quality of the brand. As a result, his/her opinion is as worthy as your next door neighbour’s.

2/ The said celebrity is rewarded with a counterpart for his/her involvement, be it financial or not. Therefore, his/her integrity may be questionned.

Since Aristotle, and even with Internet used as a mass communication, influence techniques did not evolve that much. This one is only an example. Now, your turn to find others.

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