Reality television is a dynamic, profit-making platform that occupies prime-time slots on the television almost all over the world. Despite its immense popularity and influence, it has received little attention in the extant literature and almost none in terms of its impact on celebrity repositioning. This study aims at examining the relationship between the film stars as brands and the impact of the platform of reality television in repositioning these celebrities in the Indian context. Through extensive literature review and qualitative interviews, the paper expounds that reality television provides an opportunity to celebrities to successfully reposition themselves at crucial junctures in their career. The framework to study this repositioning has been adopted from the work of Chris Simms and Paul Trott (2007) who created it to study the brand repositioning of various consumer goods. The literature establishes celebrities as brands. This study provides evidence that brand repositioning through reality television is possible for these celebrity brands. The symbolic and functional repositioning of these celebrities is presented through thematic content analysis. The study provides a useful framework to understand celebrity brand repositioning through reality TV. It can also be replicated to understand the repositioning of a wide variety of celebrities other than film-stars such as sportspersons, social media influencers and politicians. The paper contributes to the need of expanding the corpus of Indian reality television and explains how Indian celebrities reposition themselves through reality television.
Published in: Arts and the Market