TalentZoo.com |  Flack Me |  Digital Pivot |  Beneath the Brand Archives  |  Categories
Looks Like Abercrombie is in 'A Situation'
By: Andrew Davis
Bookmark and Share Subscribe to the Beneath the Brand RSS Feed Share
Brands pay celebrities all the time to sport their gear. Yet, clothing line Abercrombie & Fitch is taking a different approach. Instead of sponsoring a celebrity, they’re offering to pay the cast of MTV’s Jersey Shore to not wear their clothes.
 
According to A&F, the appearance of their label on the Guido and Guidettes of the Shore is “contrary to the aspirational nature of the brand.” I suppose reality stars puking in the streets while wearing an A&F shirt is not exactly what the brand wants people to “aspire” to become. (Then again, they are making a boatload of cash for being, well, talented at getting drunk.)
 
Yet, the request is a bit confusing. A&F isn’t exactly known for their aspirational advertising. The clothing line is wrought with its fair share of Shore-esque branding signals, including shirtless greeters welcoming customers into its club-like stores. And, as Shore cast member Paul “DJ Pauly D” Delvecchio pointed-out in a recent tweet, A&F has taken advantage of the Shore hype. “Hmmm if They Don’t Want Us To Wear Those Clothes Why Make GTL Shirts,” asks Delvecchio.
 
It’s a good question, and has a few people asking if A&F isn’t just building a PR stunt around the request. "With respect to The Situation, Abercrombie & Fitch saw an opportunity to get some advantageous publicity during the all-important back-to-school season," BMO Capital Markets Senior Retail Analyst John Morris told the Chicago Tribune. "It's definitely a good water-cooler conversation."
 
Stunt or not, it serves as a good lesson about the importance (and, consequences) of your brand narrative.
 
You have a product. That product has a brand image. That brand image is created through branding signals. And, your branding signals tell a story to consumers. If your brand narrative is one of youthful bacchanalia — as is A&F’s — don’t be surprised if your brand starts showing up in places where said bacchanalia occurs.
 
Pervasive brands have a tendency to get co-opted by consumers. Therefore, it’s important that your branding signals weave a narrative that ensures the brand is reaching the right audience.

   

Bookmark and Share Subscribe to the Beneath the Brand RSS Feed Share
blog comments powered by Disqus
About the Author
Andrew Davis is a Charleston, SC-based creative services consultant to small businesses and non-profits. Follow him on Twitter here.
Beyond Madison Avenue on

Advertise on Beyond Madison Avenue
Return to Top