Today, I came across a stunt that perfectly sums up the cult of celebrity in today’s society.
A regular average, unknown guy named Brett Cohen walks the streets of New York City in total obscurity every day. Until, one day when he slapped on some shades and pulled together a team of “bodyguards” and “assistants” – along with some “paparazzi” – to follow him around.
Suddenly, Brett was surrounded by his adoring fans. Yep, you read that right, his FANS.
People posed for photos with him. Girls gave him their phone numbers and guys lined up to shake his hand while others screamed and shouted and chased after him. One of his friends, posing as a reporter, asked people what they think of Brett’s acting or his music … he changed it up with each “fan.”
One guy said he loved Brett’s acting in Spiderman and thinks “he is a really good actor.”
Another guy “heard his first single, which is good.” He can’t remember the name of the song, but he “heard it on the radio.”
When a gaggle of giggling girls is asked what it was like meeting Brett, they shout, “it is the best day of my life!” and “I love him!”
Another guy thinks Brett is “excellent, awesome and has a great future in the movie business,” he goes on to say he “feels special after having taken a picture with him.”
Doesn’t that quote sum it up so perfectly? We everyday, average people want to much to feel special that we will take a photo with someone we think is famous just in the hope that their specialness will rub off on us.
And, as the crowd grows to hundreds of very excited fans, it’s clear that real paparazzi and media have joined in the fun. (article continues below)
The video gloriously ends with Brett, sans entourage, removing his sunglasses and walking in complete anonymity down the street and into the subway.
Brett’s stunt not only cracked me up (and gave me an idea for a PR stunt), but it also really does shine a massive spotlight on what celebrity really is these days and how little it takes to achieve it.
Paris and Kim long ago proved it’s unnecessary to have a craft or make a tangible contribution to achieve fame. But the most surreal part of this whole stunt is that because more than 2 million people have viewed and shared Brett’s video on YouTube in the past five days, he now actually is a bit of a celebrity. Everyone from the Huffington Post to ABC News has picked up the story and Brett is now being followed by actual paparazzi when he walks down the street.
So, will this be the new kind of “famous for being famous” model? I don’t know. But, it’s certainly more compelling and creative than a sex tape.