Influencers’ self-branding online: a study of Kim Kardashian and Li Ziqi

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dc.contributor.advisor Curtis, Neal Zhang, Lifeilin 2021-10-05T20:15:45Z 2021-10-05T20:15:45Z 2021 en
dc.description Full Text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract This thesis explores the latest development in advertising and promotion, namely the influencer and micro-celebrity culture on social media platforms. It focuses specifically on the phenomenon of self-branding and the self-promotional techniques afforded by new technology and a wider culture that increasingly understands the self in commodity form. The thesis takes Kim Kardashian and Li Ziqi as case studies in order to compare the different environments in which the work and the different strategies—including modes of self-presentation and commercialization that they use. This thesis, works through the shift from traditional advertising to the emergence of promotional culture and the move away from traditional forms of celebrity to the contemporary phenomenon of the micro-celebrity, while also considering how the concept of the brand has enveloped our conceptions f self in the neoliberal age. In terms of the case studies, Kim Kardashian is one of the most famous American online celebrities, who has gained over 222 million followers on Instagram. Kardashian creates a Kardashian-oriented world that shares a Kardashian-style lifestyle. Kardashian’s fame builds upon her family, her celebrity friend Paris Hilton, and the gossip that lifestyle encourages. Kardashian profits from building her personal brands such as SKIMS, Kollections, and endorsements for brands such as Quicktrim. In comparison, Li Ziqi is a famous online celebrity with 27 million followers on the Chinese social-media-platform Weibo. Li creates an ideal rural Chinese world with complex self-branding strategies, including camera work, video content, promotion with MCN agencies, and through the creation of Personal IP. Li doesn’t endorse brands but sells her personally branded products. Kardashian and Li represent American and Chinese influencer culture, respectively. As yet, no literature has taken Kim Kardashian and Li Ziqi as examples to analyze the similarities and differences between American influencer culture and Chinese influencer culture. This thesis aims to to fill up this gap. The finding of the thesis is that influencer culture is affected by factors including cultural background, methods of commercialization, social media affordances, and types of self-presentation, application of self-branding. With Kardashian’s fame being dependent on older media forms and a popular reality TV show, the conclusion is that Li Ziqi is the better example of cutting edge self-branding strategies in the new media environment.
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Full Text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
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dc.title Influencers’ self-branding online: a study of Kim Kardashian and Li Ziqi
dc.type Thesis en Media, Film and Television The University of Auckland en Masters en 2021-08-12T12:29:55Z
dc.rights.holder Copyright: the author en

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