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Pamela Anderson As You’ve Never Seen Her (And We Know You’ve Seen Her)

Pamela Anderson with Malibu perfume (C) Carol Berman

I know what you’re thinking.  If it’s a story about Pamela Anderson it’s about one thing.  Ok, two things.

You’d be wrong.

The woman who first hit the scene in 1989 has been no stranger to news and gossip columns since.  Most recently, her name appeared associated with a New Years Eve wardrobe malfunction and a breakup with her surfer boyfriend.

But to meet her and see her interaction with fans shows a completely different side of the former Baywatch babe.  This is a business woman, extremely appreciative of fan support.

This past weekend, Pamela Anderson celebrated the launch of her new fragrance, “Malibu,” with appearances at two Philadelphia-suburb Rite-Aid drugstores.  Hundreds of people waited patiently with their newly purchased bottles to meet the bombshell and get photos and autographs.

Fan Juan Dominguez & Pamela Anderson

One fan even flew in from Cincinnati for the day for the opportunity.  Juan Dominguez, 42, a Pamela Anderson fan from Bala Cynwyd, PA, says, “She is a strong woman who is very smart about her career decisions.”  How would he describe her brand?  “Blonde ambition.”

Secrets to Success

While Anderson might have been considered an overnight success 20 years ago, it takes work to evolve and stay in the public consciousness, if indeed that is the goal.  There are other attributes that might not initially be associated with Pamela Anderson, but should be: persistence and organization.

“I’m good at juggling,” she says.  “You have to keep good calendars.”  With her kids in Canada while she was in Pennsylvania for three appearances, it takes effort to stay on track.  (Her last stop of the day was the opening of a new club at an area casino).

As for the persistence thing, the line of “Malibu” fragrance has been in development for 15 years.  The hold up?  Testing technology had to catch up because Anderson is firmly against animal testing.  She is a spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and some of the proceeds from her perfume benefit that organization.

But don’t call her a brand…

“I HATE being called a brand,” she said.  “It’s so much more than that, than just having your name on a product.”

She attributes her endurance in the public eye, despite ups and downs in her personal and professional life, to keeping it real. “Being authentic is key.”

"Vintage" Pamela Anderson

Authentic means she wears her perfume and uses the other products that will soon appear on store shelves bearing the “Malibu” name–hair care, skin care, and sun care.  Authentic means taking time with fans to pose for photos, sign multiple copies of old Playboy issues with her on the cover, and chatting a bit.  If you’ve ever been to a celebrity meet-and-greet, it’s a quick signature and move on.

Hundreds wait to meet Pamela Anderson

And to estimate the success behind this latest venture…at least 400 people waited on line to meet the bombshell.  In order to get the autograph, each fan had to purchase the scent for $39/$49.  That’s at least $16,000 in sales for two hours of work.  The perfume is available at more than 20,000 CVS/Pharmacy, Rite-Aid, Walgreen’s, and Sears stores nationwide.

She’s Not Done Yet

Anderson isn’t close to done. A swimsuit line bearing her name is next.  And thanks to e-commerce, books she wrote in 2005 and 2006 are still for sale on Amazon.  DVDs of her mainstream break on the early 90s series Home Improvement chronicle her TV start.  She played a handy-girl like none I’ve ever seen.  And let’s not forget Baywatch, the show that made her an international success, broadcast in 140 countries. As a testament to her enduring fame, RTI German television covered her Philadelphia appearance.

Pamela Anderson may hate the word “brand,” but as Janet Sills, PhD, wrote in a 2008 issue of Psychology Today, “For a successful long-term career, do not look to your company or industry to take care of you. As in every other arena of life, you must take care of yourself. A well-built brand will be your life raft.” Anderson, the former lifeguard is not likely to sink any time soon.

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1 comment

1 Bob Beardsley { 01.26.10 at 6:53 pm }

I got a little chuckle about her being “authentic.” Didn’t she have breast implants? Nice story on her though.