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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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    I wonder when all those nice ladies from the porn industry will get nice purses.

     

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    Nathan, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 9:40am

    On a side note: It was Slim Fast who sent Kristie Alley that first box of Jenny Craig food...true story

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 10:04am

      Re:

      who the hell is kristie alley?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 10:14am

        Re: Re:

        K'i'rstie Alley is an Operating Thetan in the Church of Scientology.
        I wouldn't be surprised if the Methodist Church sent her to Scientology as part of their own 'unbranding' effort.

         

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    ERnie, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 9:49am

    Wow

    EmbroideryFits.com provides quality custom embroidery clothing and screen printing for individuals, sports teams, businesses and organizations. Whether you are starting a new restaurant, planning a family reunion, a fundraiser, or coaching a Little League team, we can take your ideas and embroider or print your logo, design or message onto shirts, jackets, hats, uniforms, aprons -- even tote bags! At EmbroideryFits.com, our mission is to provide you with a superior custom embroidery apparel combined with dependable services and support. EmbroideryClick.com, your trusted source for quality embroidery equipment, machines, threads and creative digitizing embroidery machine software. Whether you're a skilled seamstress, a small business owner, or an interested embroidery beginner, we offer everything you need to create beautiful custom embroidery on hats, shirts, aprons, tote bags... just about anything!

     

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    Nathan, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 10:09am

    Typos Are Not Funny

    Kirstie...dooh. Nevermind

     

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    CyberCowboy, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 10:09am

    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 (other than knowing the name I have no idea who Snooki is) how would you know if this anti-celeb was using a product if you don't like them and therefore are ignoring them?

     

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      Cynyr (profile), Sep 7th, 2010 @ 10:14am

      Re: Who would notice?

      Not only that but if i don't like or care for these luxury brands, how do i know a suit from company A from a suit from company B? I couldn't tell you what someone is wearing at the oscar's nor do i care much.

       

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      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 7th, 2010 @ 10:58am

      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.

       

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 7th, 2010 @ 10:59am

      Re: Who would notice?

      We here at TechDirt probably won't fully understand, but the celebs that people hate get the most attention. I definitely don't understand it, but my sister and my step mom do. Chances are if we don't understand we are not the target market.

       

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        Verve (profile), Sep 7th, 2010 @ 6:07pm

        Re: Re: Who would notice?

        Chances are if we don't understand we are not the target market.

        This.

        The target market reads all the gossip rags and follows that type of stuff.... This is a brilliant strategy!

         

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      dobler, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 5:38pm

      Re: Who would notice?

      The people who notice are the people who DO watch. The fans of snooki are NOT the people these brands want carrying their products. Look at Burberry in the UK. The Burberry checker pattern has become synonymous with 'chavs' (white trash).

       

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    Nathan, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 10:12am

    Limited To Fashion

    Probably limited to fashion, and all the chics who read the gossip rags.

     

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    Steven (profile), Sep 7th, 2010 @ 10:23am

    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.

     

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    Eugene (profile), Sep 7th, 2010 @ 10:42am

    You could totally start doing this with movies. M Night Shayamalan, Uwe Boll, and the "___ Movie" guys are all still making films, after all.

    Imagine: angry moviegoers leaving a terrible movie, images of a crappy actor drinking Pepsi in their head,looking for a Coke machine...

     

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    Hosermage (profile), Sep 7th, 2010 @ 10:48am

    new income for anti-celebrities

    They can now call each of these companies and ask to be paid to NOT use/wear their stuff. Nice.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 10:55am

    All makes sense now

    So that's why I saw that photo of Dark Helmet reading techdirt. The anti-placement makes a lot of sense.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 11:27am

    This line of thinking will only enforce an already negative view of a product.

    I like the BMW 635i and if Mercedes were to gift the 635i to say....Ryan Seacrest. I would still drool over the 635i.

     

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 7th, 2010 @ 1:35pm

      Re:

      It won't work for cars. Product Anti-Placement can only work for something frivolous and passing; fashion (at least until they get the copyright they wanted).

       

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    Kevin (profile), Sep 7th, 2010 @ 2:16pm

    I like this.

    Cause it is more ammunition in my argument that people generally do not like Snooki,.... they just like to make fun of her.

     

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    James, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 3:58pm

    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.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 5:40pm

    "I wouldn't put it past one of the luxury brands to try to come up with a novel legal theory to try..."

    and we need a novel legal anti SLAPP theory that can fine these people huge sums of money if they decide to clog up our courts with such nonsense.

     

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    roederhallo, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 12:19am

    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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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 4:39pm

    4chan?

    How soon before 4chan picks some product and starts gifting it to infamous people? *evil toughts*

     

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    Josh Naturalist, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 6:35pm

    And BMW!

    And BMW is synonymous to a middle eastern guy with back slick hair and lots of gold chains.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 12:50am

      Re: And BMW!

      can't comment on the US but in europe all middle eastern men drive MB not BMW which is a black and white brand.

       

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