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...