Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Great brands, shame about the movie?

Like most savvy followers of the fashion scene, Fashionista has her own very definite views of the messages different brands send out, which brands fit comfortably with each other and which are best kept apart. But what about the fashion labels themselves? What's their self-image and their message? In the company of which other labels and brands are they happy to be seen?

A partial answer to these questions can be found by browsing the Brand Cameo feature on BrandChannel. Each week this picks a new release from the latest crop of films and takes a look at the product placements. This week's pick, for example, is Funny People, which
" ... explores the life of George Simmons, a famous comedian and movie star who is forced to examine his empty life when a rare disease threatens to kill him. Despite the dark overtones and focus on complicated issues, the film provides plenty of laughs and humorous insights into relationships, success, failure, loneliness and life in general".
Part of the art of creating a great film is to make sure that there is a synergy between the brands featured in it, the characters portrayed and the plot itself. James Bond, for example, has been famously associated with a range of cars over the past half century or so, most notably the classic Aston Martin -- but never a FIAT, Skoda, Nissan or Trabant. Brand owners are willing to pay large sums for the privilege of a good placement, and fashion houses are no different.

If you think you're clever, stop reading at this point, take a pen and paper and make a list of the fashion brands you'd expect to find in a comedy about a seriously ill movie star with an empty life, dealing with deep and meaningful issues. Could this be a golden opportunity for Benetton, perhaps, harking back to its deeply provocative social conscience marketing of a few years ago?

The fashion/leisurewear brands actually placed here are Champion, Jordan, Fred Perry, Levi's, Nike, Puma and Target, plus retailers K-Mart and Walmart. Now, wonders Fashionista, what message does that send me about the movie?