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William Easterly Headshot

Who is the Target Audience for Celebrity Aid Campaigns?

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2009-08-13-angelinajoliesexappeal.gif

I've complained a lot about celebrity aid campaigns, but somebody must like them since they keep happening over and over. To whom is the celebrity campaign meant to appeal?

The celebrity aid campaign of the past few years has precisely these three components:

1. Angelina Jolie
2. Music by Bono
3. Picture of African mother and baby

So who is the audience that likes looking at Angelina, enjoys 1980s Rock, and wants to save helpless African women and children? The answer is now obvious: chauvinistic middle-aged white males. (Speaking as an expert middle-aged white male)

A more serious analysis might note the irony of using Hollywood women as sex objects and seeing African women as the passive recipients of aid chivalry, when one of the objectives of aid is gender equality...but let's not go there.

And it's easy to understand why the campaigns target chauvinistic middle-aged white males, since they have the deepest pockets.

Economics is a lot more fun than you thought...