When New Line Cinema told the luxury bag, jewelry, and sunglass rental company, Bag Borrow or Steal, six months ago that it would be included in the new Sex and the City film, it was a dream come true for the company - especially since it did not do anything to secure the mention.
Jodi Watson, CMO for Bag Borrow or Steal, says, "To have a role in a movie like Sex and the City gives you instant cache and credibility." Additionally, New Line asked the fashion company to become a promotional partner for the film.
The similarities between the movie and the company's target demographic allowed Bag Borrow or Steal to quickly craft a PR campaign, Watson adds.
"We had to put everything together in less than two months, which for most companies would be very difficult to do, [but] for a startup it's a lot easier," she notes.
Bag Borrow or Steal created a Sex and the City trend shop on its Web site and hosted a You Tube contest for tickets to the premiere.
Why does it matter?
"It means they've reached the right people at the right time, and suddenly they are high out there on the landscape," says Gail Heimann, president of Weber Shandwick's New York office.
She notes the importance of thinking carefully about how to respond to a brand mention like this. "The beauty of an unpaid placement, particularly one that is serendipitous, is that it looks and feels, and maybe is, organic," Heimann says. "The minute it smacks of overt marketing, it loses its cache." For previous PRWeek coverage on this topic, click here.
1. Bagborroworsteal.com launched in April 2004 and offers more than 4,000 styles of luxury handbags and jewelry made by more than 100 different designers.
2. More than 700,000 women, which pay a $5 to $10 membership fee each month, make up Bag Borrow or Steal's membership. Extra borrowing fees apply.
3. When modern versions of Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley High books were released in April, real brands replaced fictional ones mentioned in the original books.
4. Seenon.com is a Web site that allows consumers to purchase products that have been worn by characters on popular TV shows, such as a purse from Ugly Betty.
5. The Plink Facebook application allows its 30,000 members to ask friends questions about the brands they are wearing in photos. They can then shop using links provided by 360 participating retailers.