Since the inevitable split of Dawson’s Creek golden girl Katie Holmes and everyone’s favorite Top Gun Tom Cruise, there has been the inevitable chatter about how the decoupling will damage the individual star’s brands.
It is true that both Tom and Katie benefited from becoming TomKat. For Tom, Katie added a patina of youth that no plastic surgery can accomplish for a man of 50. She made him seem younger, somewhat hipper. If he occasionally seemed unhinged, even that was all right. An audience loves to love love. And most importantly, Katie gave Tom Suri. In the age of the celebrity baby boom, when spawning is what drives the celebrity brand-building machine, Suri was something the American consumer could truly get behind. For Katie, Tom provided gravitas. Sure, being a stay-at-home mom and full-time keeper of Cruise kept her from appearing in too many movies, but what a celebrity does for work doesn’t actually matter anymore. Kate Holmes is one of the few celebrities we can truly call A-list today because of her association with Tom. She could land any magazine cover of her choice tomorrow and her endorsements potential is through the roof. Tom is a star maker. Ask Nicole Kidman.
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