The hit TV show Scandal and The Limited have teamed up to create a new fashion line inspired by the show’s main character Olivia Pope. The line will be available in stores and on line next week and will feature more than 70 pieces priced from $49 to $250. This idea was created by a New York City advertising agency, Yank, with a budget of $12 million. “The Limited calls the ‘Scandal’ merchandise a collaborative effort of Ms. Washington [Kerry Washington]; Elliot Staples, head of design for the retailer; and Lyn Paolo, the costume designer for “Scandal” (1).
The idea came from a segment of Good Morning America, where they took looks from the show and made them more affordable. According to Diane Ellis, chief executive of The Limited in New Albany, Ohio, the company is looking to “reinvigorate the brand and make it really relevant again to [their] target client” (1). The new clothing line “combines success with sex appeal and shows you can be both feminine and fierce” (1), says Ruth Bernstein, chief strategic officer of Yard. The clothes will make you look like Olivia Pope, but you will ultimately feel like yourself.
Using a hit TV show to bring awareness to brands has been a strategy that advertisers have used primarily in children’s shows. The merchandise can bring in anywhere from $250 million to $500 million in sales. Now, the trend is starting to evolve with adult television. Shows like “The Big Bang Theory,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Downton Abbey,” “Mad Men” and “Sons of Anarchy” all have licensed merchandise. Series like “Breaking Bad” and “Game Of Thrones” have generated over $100 million dollars in retail sales, with other adult series bringing in under $50 million a year.
Companies put a lot of money into a campaign such as this. In the end, it builds brand awareness and generates revenue from retail sales. Getting a show or a celebrity to support a brand can really draw people in. Samsung just recently made an Ad featuring Kristen Bell and her real life husband Dax Shepard. It features the couple going about their daily lives, while attached to their tablets. The video was released Sunday and already has over 500 million views. Why wouldn’t a consumer want to dress like their favorite character or use the tablet that a famous couple endorses?
Only time will tell if this campaign is successful, but until then do you think these kinds of campaigns can boost profits more than other methods? Or is the endorsement not worth the money?
(1) Elliott, S. (2014, September 14). ‘Scandal’ Inspires Clothing Line at The Limited. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
(2) Stevens, LaForce. (2014, September 10). The Limited Collection Inspired by SCANDAL. Retrieved from http://vimeo.com/105671900
(3) Samsung Mobile USA. (2014, September 14). Galaxy Tab S – What you really need. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3Kjj2ca4oQ