Jenny from the Block

I can’t help but notice Jennifer Lopez’s sudden surge of recognition. Her movies play in marathons on television, she is a popular addition to the American Idol judges, she recently received the “Favorite Latin Artist” award at the AMAs and she has a new endorsement deal with Fiat. But above all else, Jennifer Lopez has become a full-fledged role model in and outside the Latina community. She has captured audiences of all ethnicities, but to Latinas she is the pinnacle of success.

As a PR student, I am particularly interested in how she has crafted her brand. Her image has developed a multi-market appeal that has bridged gaps in the film and music industries. Her “Jenny from the Block” persona has introduced her as a woman with strong roots and strong ideals. From there, she built an image based around her ethnicity and used it as a platform for success.

Her popularity largely stems from the fact that she is popular in and out of the mainstream media. She has become a symbol of the Latina community, and her following is unwavering and all-enduring. Lopez has proved time and time again that she is a savvy businesswoman that knows what she wants out of her career.

From a public relations standpoint, Lopez places her brand in a variety of media outlets such as film, print, music video and television. By allowing her fans to see her wearing many different “hats,” she guarantees that the media view her as a versatile Latin woman. In addition to her own personal branding, Lopez has also popularized the Latina community. This is especially prevalent in her urban New York hometown. Because of Lopez’s influence, the Latin community has become more vocal and confident in their culture.

Here are some ways I think Jennifer Lopez captured the Latina community:

She holds strong ties to her upbringing. She constantly reminds her audience that she is from the Bronx and has a strong connection to the Latina community. Her relatable story has encouraged fans to become a part of her story, which is the best way to build a fan base. Lopez will continue her career with a large following of people who believe in her and love the community she came from.

She is the modern day Selena. After playing Selena in the 1997 film, Lopez took the reins and picked up where Selena left off. JLO was able to enter her career with Selena’s loyal fans in tow, which gave her the foundation she needed to create her own unique brand.

She is an opinion leader. Her ideas and beliefs have absolutely rubbed off on her following over the course of her career. She has taken on being a role model and is dedicated to providing her Latina fans with an opinion leader and ally.

She takes on key roles in film. She chooses to play bold, independent women in her films. This is probably best shown in her leading role in the movie “Enough.” This movie follows a woman’s journey to save herself and her young daughter from her abusive husband. This role encompasses everything it means to be a strong woman and because of that her fans associate this role with Lopez’s brand.

I appreciate Jennifer Lopez’s commitment to her fans and her brand. She is intelligent, beautiful, talented and independent…all things that lend to a successful career. I am impressed by her recent explosion in the media and can’t wait to see where she pops up next.

“My managers and agents and I realized that I’m not white…so I’ve always wanted to show that I could play any kind of character. Not only a range of emotions, but also race-wise.”

-Jennifer Lopez.


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