Forget Product Placement; Get Ready For Product Anti-Placement

from the sneaky-bastards dept

By now you’re certainly familiar with the concept of product placement, and the fact that it’s been growing and growing and growing these days. Well, how about a counter-clockwise twist on the concept? ChurchHatesTucker points us to the rumors making the rounds that some luxury brand companies are experimenting with product anti-placement. That is, they’re sending their competitors’ products to celebrities who they think will create a negative association with the brand. The example used in the article is that rather infamous reality TV star Snooki:

Allegedly, the anxious folks at these various luxury houses are all aggressively gifting our gal Snookums with free bags. No surprise, right? But here’s the shocker: They are not sending her their own bags. They are sending her each other’s bags! Competitors’ bags!

Call it what you will — “preemptive product placement”? “unbranding”? — either way, it’s brilliant, and it makes total sense. As much as one might adore Miss Snickerdoodle, her ability to inspire dress-alikes among her fans is questionable. The bottom line? Nobody in fashion wants to co-brand with Snooki.

As CHT notes, one of these days, this is going to create quite the fascinating trademark question. If Louis Vuitton is sending out Prada purses to anti-celebrities, could you make an argument for trademark infringement? I wouldn’t put it past one of the luxury brands to try to come up with a novel legal theory to try…

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Comments on “Forget Product Placement; Get Ready For Product Anti-Placement”

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ERnie (user link) says:

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ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:

Re: Who would notice?

My question is simple, if you’re not a fan of a celeb, you probably wouldn’t watch something they’re in …

It’s quite possible to be a fan of Jersey Shore (or whichever) and find Snooki to be contemptible. Similarly, a lot of people read tabloids, at least partly, to keep up on bad news about celebs they dislike.

Steven (profile) says:

I'm not sure

Maybe a little more relevant to the folks here (or maybe not). What if System 76 bought an HP with Windows 7 and checked all the boxes for any random additional crapware HP can tag on. Then gifted that computer to… yeah, really not sure here.

I suspect this has little negative impact.

Although if a competitors product is truly inferior you could probably get some interesting results by sending around their product and then follow up with your product some weeks later. Get those reactions going around.

James says:

This is stupid

Car dealers use this kind of (pseudo) bait-and-switch all the time. They show you the top of the line, optioned-heavy model under nice lights in the showroom, but if they know you can’t qualify for that they show you the option-light version and play down the differences to make you feel better.

This could have the reverse intention.

roederhallo (user link) says:

That's not Product Placement

…and neither it’s Product Anti Placement. It’s called celebrity seeding.
Nowadays everything seems to be product placement. I wait for somebody to claim a tv commercial as product placement.

But the concept is funny anyway. On the downside one spend money on competitor’s products, which will get attention. And we know, only bad news are good news. One is shooting oneself in the foot here.

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