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Anti-Product Placement For Negative Branding 130

Posted by samzenpus
from the touch-of-death dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Product placement to promote your brand just isn't enough any more. These days, apparently, some companies are resorting to anti-product placement in order to get competitors' products in the hands of 'anti-stars.' The key example being Snooki from Jersey Shore, who supposedly is being sent handbags by companies... but the bags being sent are of competitors' handbags as a way to avoid Snooki carrying their own handbag, and thus potentially damaging their brand."
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Anti-Product Placement For Negative Branding

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  • clever (Score:4, Funny)

    by nopainogain (1091795) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:13PM (#33514514)
    i bet the jersey shore cast never even picks up on it.. i can picture them scratching their greasy waxed up heads going "why did chanel send me a louis vitton bag?"
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Like the cast is going to give a shit even if they did pick up on it. Mike Sorrentino is poised to make up to $5 million dollars this year alone through product endorsements, his own workout video, and getting $60,000 per episode. The cast is making more money than they ever thought they would in their lifetimes, I'm guessing. Why should they care whether chanel doesn't want them as customers? There are other designer clothing makers who'll take their money, no problem. And really, how is Snooki any more

      • Re:clever (Score:4, Informative)

        by Dishevel (1105119) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:59PM (#33515000)
        You posted AC because you knew that this post would show you have way too much information on this show to have a brain.
        • You posted AC because you knew that this post would show you have way too much information on this show to have a brain.

          Heh. Yeah. Because nerd/geek taste in TV is so chic.

    • by PPH (736903)

      Or "Why did 4chan set me up with a 5 digit Slashdot ID?"

      • by Jay Tarbox (48535)

        Huh? Is there some special cachet around a 5 digit UID?

        • Re:clever (Score:5, Insightful)

          by causality (777677) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @09:12PM (#33515824)

          Huh? Is there some special cachet around a 5 digit UID?

          Some people think it's a valid substitute for actually evaluating the quality of your post. So they might believe you not because your words ring true, but because they think you have some kind of seniority and they're far too easily impressed by that. I don't understand it any better than that but I have seen it happen myself.

          It's distantly related to giving undeserved credibility to statements made by a government official in complete ignorance of the fact that when there is power at stake, people have more reasons to lie, not fewer, so their burden of proof should be higher, not lower.

          • Not so. At the very least, a 5 digit user ID shows that about 12 years ago, the low digit poster was not (let's say) 8 years old or younger. Or if they were that young, they should probably get the +1 because even if they're wrong it's worth thinking about.

            It's really too bad that might be the only valid Wisdom bonus here. I offer my Karma bonus as evidence.
            • by causality (777677)

              Not so. At the very least, a 5 digit user ID shows that about 12 years ago, the low digit poster was not (let's say) 8 years old or younger. Or if they were that young, they should probably get the +1 because even if they're wrong it's worth thinking about. It's really too bad that might be the only valid Wisdom bonus here. I offer my Karma bonus as evidence.

              My UID is nearly twice your own, yet I have the same karma bonus. That greatly weakens or destroys your evidence there.

              It also doesn't account for the people who lurked with an attitude of "read and learn" prior to finally registering an account. The UID alone doesn't give you any indication of this.

              Finally, there are people who just refuse to learn. They are set in their ways. They can be wrong for all of those years. They can refuse to listen. They can also have a low UID.

              There's just no su

              • by Coren22 (1625475)

                It also doesn't account for the people who lurked with an attitude of "read and learn" prior to finally registering an account.

                That describes me exactly. I started reading Slashdot 10 years ago. I was even graduated high school already by then.

              • It also doesn't account for the people who lurked with an attitude of "read and learn" prior to finally registering an account. The UID alone doesn't give you any indication of this.

                I know for a fact that I was reading Slashdot as early as 1998. I don't think I bothered registering until 2002ish when I was working at the PSU computer labs and dreadfully bored during the 12am-8am shifts.

              • My UID is nearly twice your own, yet I have the same karma bonus. That greatly weakens or destroys your evidence there.

                No, it perfectly reinforces my point that karma as a bonus is fairly worthless, as opposed to say, something like a bias bonus for a 5 digit user ID.

                I thought it was obvious that I was offering my karma bonus as ironic evidence that mod bonuses are pretty lame.

                Of course these are all generalizations, as your list of "exceptions" illustrates.
        • by jdgeorge (18767)

          Huh? Is there some special cachet around a 5 digit UID?

          Yes. It means that there are thousands of Slashdotters who started contributing pithy bits of wisdom/humor/information before you. And apparently, there are more than a million (really? Holy crap!) who unleashed the full force of their wits after you did.

        • Re:clever (Score:4, Funny)

          by troc (3606) <troc@mac . c om> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @06:37AM (#33518786) Homepage Journal

          I dunno, I've never seen the point in being impressed with a 5 digit ID.

        • by troc (3606)

          Nope :)

        • by kju (327)

          Huh? Is there some special cachet around a 5 digit UID?

          No.

    • For a minute, I thought this was from my Advertising Age newsfeed... I'm utterly mystified why it showed up on my Slashdot newsfeed.

    • by Pseudonym (62607)

      What's "jersey shore"?

      • Its somewhere "West of Java" - probably also west of Javascript, but my Geography is not good without more coffee!

        Why is the box for posting in so damn small? (Opera on Ubuntu?) Looks like someone cant write HTML properly!

        • by Coren22 (1625475)

          Whenever I open a article from the RSS and see it is idle.slashdot.org I remove the idle. this causes it to rerender the page with the normal code. I have never gotten idle code to work properly, I can't minimize posts after reading, which annoys the hell out of me.

      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        It's a shore (beach) where they have football jerseys. It's also shorthand for 8 people who share half a brain.
        • by Pseudonym (62607)

          Got it, thanks.

          I worked out that it had to be a beach. I further figured that since it probably wasn't anything to do with islands in the English Channel, it had to be either jumpers or that place where The Sopranos was set.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Ihmhi (1206036)

      If we can just get the cast of Jersey Shore to swim around in the gulf for a few hours all of the oil will be absorbed by their hair. No more industrial strength pomade for the boys, and no more seagulls that look like they came out of Tolkien's nightmares! Win/win.

      • Just make sure they swim in the gulf *after* they shower or they'll just be adding to the oil spill.

        • by Coren22 (1625475)

          Exactly what I was going to say, they probably have enough oil in their hair to rate another gulf oil spill.

  • Don't care about this story about an alleged report about an unconfirmed rumour about something that may or may not, possibly, be happening that might or might not involve whomever her, she or it is supposed to be.

    Seriously, even "idle" has limits.

  • Anyone who is famous enough to have what they wear be a major advertising event is unlikely to use unsolicited items send through the mail.

    FAIL!!
    • Unless they are complete shitheads and cannot get any free swag from ANY company no matter how infamous. Like those Jerky Shore dispshits. Nike will be sending them Adidas just to make sure. I would, to protect my brand. My brand? Nuts & Gum. I'm sending them a whole shitload of Planters Peanuts. Those fucks!

    • by dave562 (969951)

      You overlooked the fact that the individual in question might not be famous enough to be given gifts by designers, but is major enough to be photographed / recorded. That is what the article is talking about. Certain brands do not want to be associated with certain types of people who are popular enough to be noticed. Therefore they send them brands other than their own in hopes that the individual will never pick up their brand.

      It makes perfect sense (in so much as advertising ever makes sense). Big mo

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by demonlapin (527802)
        Burberry and its near-implosion due to adoption by chav culture is the poster child for this effect.
        • by funkatron (912521)
          Burberry were hit especially hard because as soon as it became vaguely popular the market was flooded with much cheaper clothes which looked burberry enough. Having said that, their entire brand was a tartan pattern in slightly distinctive colours, maybe they should have made something less easy to copy.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Anyone who is famous enough to have what they wear be a major advertising event is unlikely to use unsolicited items send through the mail.

      FAIL!!

      You'd be surprised how many serious celebrities go nutzo for free crap. Especially clothes, shoes, jewelry, electronics (cell phones and such.) They take the free stuff and use it, even though they can afford to buy whatever they want.

      Apple figured this out a long time ago. It gives out lots of free crap in hollywood, and boy does it ever get exposure.

      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        Though there was a big spaz a few years ago when it was made clear that they would have to pay taxes on the Oscar gift bags and such.. (I presume they legally had to do so all along, just like people think "no taxes from online purchases" in most states, even though they are legally required to pay "use taxes" equal to the sales tax.)

  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:20PM (#33514594)
    What the hell is a snooki, and why are we talking about it on slashdot?
    • What the hell is a snooki, and why are we talking about it on slashdot?

      Because this is Idle and it's a slow news day. If your name is snooki there's a real good chance I don't give a shit about you or your handbag.

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      What the hell is a snooki,

      NSFW

      and why are we talking about it on slashdot?

      because it's NSFW

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Funny)

      by couchslug (175151) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:40PM (#33514836)

      A "Snooki" is a delightful woman from a documentary about typical New Jersey residents, which should be fascinating to Slashdot readers who can't get enough such news from geek sites like TMZ. I commend the posting of this informative story.

      • Re:What? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:50PM (#33514930) Journal

        A "Snooki" is a delightful woman from a documentary about typical New Jersey residents

        As a NJ native... the cretins on that show are *nothing* like typical NJ residents. They are typical only of a sub-type of seasonal NJ residents (just like the personalities on that show, most of the NJ guidos are from elsewhere).

        New Jersey actually has about 6 or 7 culturally distinct regions... and the one region supposedly represented by the show is not like that at all... the BENNYs depicted on that show are despised by shorefolk in New Jersey as a whole.

        Now, before I let my butt-hurt get out of hand...

        I don't really mind if people think poorly of NJ; it keeps people from overcrowding the good parts of the state. But let's be honest... the cast of "Jersey Shore" is about as indicative of NJers as the cast of "Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel" is indicative of addicts in general.

        • There are good parts?

          (I keed, a large part of my extended family is from there)
          (from there, not still there)
        • It's reality TV. It's supposed to be completely against reality.

          If it was real reality TV, it'd be eleven people waking up in the morning, going to work, hating their job, coming home, eating dinner, then sitting in front of the television watching reality TV shows. I mean, who'd watch that?
        • by couchslug (175151)

          "I don't really mind if people think poorly of NJ; it keeps people from overcrowding the good parts of the state. "

          The brutal taxes and restrictive laws help even more, which is why leaving NJ for freer, less expensive areas to live in is commonplace. The property taxes on a home in Jersey would pay a mortgage elsewhere.

          That said, Jersey has some beautiful old towns and semi-rural areas, but you need to be wealthy to live there. Not being wealthy, I GTFO. (BTW the Carolinas look like Jersey did decades ago,

          • The brutal taxes and restrictive laws help even more

            Well, it's a tradeoff. Sure, the taxes are brutal, but the public education system is among the best, if not the best, in the country. There are other public services that are also very valuable.

            Not to say there's not corruption, graft, and other waste in the cesspool of NJ public administration...

            It's also important to note that the higher taxes and higher cost of living in NJ is offset some by the higher wages.

            That said, Jersey has some beautiful old

          • BTW the Carolinas look like Jersey did decades ago, and are vastly cheaper to live and retire in

            Yeah, that's what I tell folks about the part of New Hampshire I live in (we've got mountains, you've got chiggers). Most of my semi-rural NJ schoolmates live in Eastern PA now. Very few can afford to live where we grew up as NYC has finally consumed it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      what the hell is a snooki

      A snooki is a blanket, with sleeves.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      Snooki? Isn't that Chewbacca's cousin?
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      OK, I needed to know this as well. Here's the context for the anti-branding; Snooki is a young female of airhead demeanor on a reality show called Jersey Shore. Apparently this show has caused a lot of controversy with activist Italian organizations, who called for its banishment and censorship from television. Many original sponsors of the show have since ceased there commercial advertisements, like Dell Computer and Domino's Pizza.

      Here's the reason for this anti-branding silliness:

      One promotion stated tha

      • See this is the problem with Wikipedia references.

        I haven't seen the show, I'm in the UK, but I know the reason Italian-American interest groups are offended is because of a recent incident where "Snooki" was punched [nypost.com] by a man who fits the stereotype they object to.

        The interesting thing is MTV's hypocrisy over dealing with the issue, they blacked out the assault when shown on TV and offered a link to a support line after the show but showed a male being assaulted during another show about teen pregnancy.

    • by Lost Race (681080)
      Snooki is a recurring character on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" skit. She is a promiscuous Oompa-loompa from New Jersey. We're talking about her to flaunt our conspicuous ignorance of American pop culture [theonion.com].
  • The key example being Snooki from Jersey Shore, who supposedly is being sent handbags by companies... but the bags being sent are of competitors' handbags as a way to avoid Snooki carrying their own handbag, and thus potentially damaging their brand."

    Snooki who? Carrying in the sense of having in stock? I suppose if you know what's going on, you know what's meant with the above, but it's gobbledygook to me.

    Perhaps it's good thing I normally don't look at idle posts ;-)

  • Sorry i f you disagree, but I think she's cute. I'd love to give her my toqerstick.

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      You really need to get out of your mom's basement more often!
    • ugh. She is an ugly little oompa loompa. As someone else put it so eloquently, "I'd rather run a marathon barefooted through broken glass"
    • by c6gunner (950153)

      I had no idea who she was, but after your comment I had to go look.

      Dude.

      She looks like Jabba the Hutt's infant daughter.

  • Apple should send her an Android phone .....


    Ducks.
    • Why do you think Microsoft paid Verizon to have their Bing app irreversibly integrated into all Verizon's Androids? Was it because they want Bing on the Androids, or because they want to do everything they can to slow down the Androids until they can launch their WP7? The more miserable they can make the Android experience, the better off they are. An integrated universal search app that can't be deactivated, removed or retargeted is just the kind of app you would want to be running to make the entire ph

  • Maybe this trend will mean more revenue options for athletes and D-list actors who are off beating their spouses and driving their cars into trees.

    The can now be rewarded for their behavior by being paid to not wear Nike or not drive a Mercedes.

    • Now we have Anti-Product placement ....

      Next Anti-Crime : Whitemail - Threatening to tell about the Mafia Boss's donations to charity unless they pay ...

  • Never, it seems, is there a lack of anti-capitalist rhetoric on slashdot - but perhaps it is more proper to say there is never a lack of pro-capitalist rhetoric: pro-capitalist ideals being assumed as pro-competitive.

    There is something wrong when competition turns into opposition. When an entity actively obstructs the progress of another, not through a product of better fit, but through the slandering or image-tarnishing of a competitors product.

    To be fair (someone has to be), evolution has shown that, as a concept, offensive advertisement works. I therefore leave it to you, the reader, to decide if there really is anything wrong with (philosophically speaking) being a skunk.

    • by PPH (736903)

      That's the story of corporate America. From Ballmer dissing open source to incumbent telecoms lobbying to keep competitors off the airwaves. Politicians too numerous to list.

      Its devolving into a bitchy little cat fight. What ever happened to doing your best and standing on your own reputation? Answer: Most of your market doesn't have such high moral principles. So let's sling the mud. The few people we lose with our tactics will be more than made up with the riff-raff that buy it. Particularly if you can g

    • by selven (1556643)

      In an ideal free market, people compete by making the best possible product, not by attacking each other. When a company attacks another company, however, that's a type of competition which does not benefit, and in fact harms, the consumer. Thus, any kind of offensive tactics (this includes negative advertisement, "don't buy any of our competitor's product and get 10% off", hitting competitors with lawsuits, etc) violate basic free market principles and should be scorned for this reason.

      • by Dhalka226 (559740)

        When a company attacks another company, however, that's a type of competition which does not benefit, and in fact harms, the consumer.

        If we're talking about lawsuits, I'd tend to agree, though most of those lawsuits are about IP which I think is what really stands against free market principles; not the lawsuits per se. Lawsuits for false advertising or fraud or libel are, I think, perfectly legitimate.

        Whether the rest is anti-free-market really depends on whether or not me seeing some idiot on an idioti

      • Thus, any kind of offensive tactics (this includes negative advertisement, "don't buy any of our competitor's product and get 10% off", hitting competitors with lawsuits, etc) violate basic free market principles and should be scorned for this reason.

        Once you start saying what can and cannot be used as a criterion, how is it still a free market? If I get a visceral pleasure from hurting Brand B by buying Brand A, Brand A is providing me more value.

        Would it be better for society if I didn't have that desire

        • by selven (1556643)

          We're already deciding what can and cannot be used as a criterion. For example, Brand A cannot send soldiers to trash Brand B's factory. If you do not accept that, then you have an anarchy not a free market. I'm not arbitrarily deciding what can and cannot be a criterion, I made a very clear rule: making your product better = good, making others' product worse = bad. Your argument about hurting Brand B being the product falls apart (unless you happen to advocate anarchy) once you realize that sending soldie

          • We're already deciding what can and cannot be used as a criterion. For example, Brand A cannot send soldiers to trash Brand B's factory.

            That's not a criterion a customer can use... that's just using violence to raise B's costs. And applying violence to a consumer is commonly called "robbery." The question is how can you eliminate a criterion from a customer's consideration and still be considered a free market? Not that a free market is the best thing in the world... regulation to deal with racism for in

  • I call bullshit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178)
    First rule of PR: There is no such thing as bad publicity. No PR hack worth his MBA would deliberately generate publicity for a competitor's product.
    • by ADRA (37398)

      Video games get truly negative impact press every time they're decried for their violence, sexuality, etc.. If a school shooting agitator played game X prominently then you can be darn sure that the patents would be screaming from the roof tops for a ban, and knowing places like Walmart, the games would get pulled for no other reason than to appease the mob.

      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        Did the public outcry about Grand Theft Auto drive total sales down or up? I rest my case.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      First rule of PR: There is no such thing as bad publicity. No PR hack worth his MBA would deliberately generate publicity for a competitor's product.

      It's a popular cliche, but I have no faith that's true.

      One sniff of child molestation charges or overt racism has ended many a celebrity's career. Not always mind you, but often enough. It really depends on how far and how bad. Mel Gibson and Gary Glitter being popular examples.

    • by 1u3hr (530656)
      If you RTFA, it's a blog quoting a blog, and that says it's a "rumors".

      And it makes no sense. Anyone who hates the show won't be watching it, so they won't get the "anti-message". If there's any truth in it at all, which I doubt, maybe some companies got third parties to send their stuff so they could remain aloof, say they don't endorse the show , but still cultivate the market. But no one would ever deliberately use "anti-product placement". It would be ineffective, and risks blowback.

  • there had to be a catch to all these free "Goocci" brand handbags we get in the mail.
  • I have no idea who Snokie is nor have I ever heard of Jersey Shore. I do like the idea of "negative product placement", however I don't think it works. HEY COMPANIES try your negative add campaign on me!
  • This is nothing new (Score:3, Informative)

    by jd2112 (1535857) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @09:11PM (#33515816)
    Transformers: Autobots are mostly GM products, Decepticons that aren't military hardware tend to be Ford or Audi
    24: Jack Bauer and his buddies drive around in Fords, the terrorists tend to prefer GM products or imports.

    I'm sure I could come up with a dozen more examples if I wanted to.
    • Same in the latest James Bond IIRC: James drives Fords (even an old Bronco at one point), bad guys drive GMs or Land Rovers (again, IIRC...feel free to correct me).

    • Knowing Transformers fans, this means that Ford, Audi and GM all got product placement? Because Trans-fans think ALL giant robots and their vehicle modes are cool. They don't discriminate by faction, in my experience.

      The real divide is between jet geeks and car geeks. ;-)

  • This is another reason why I won't get cable until I can select each channel individually. Otherwise I am guaranteed to paying for Sumner Redstone's MTV Networks (including Jersey Shore), The Golf Channel, and other stuff that I don't watch. Why should I pay Disney's ESPN 4 bucks a month [wikipedia.org] when I really don't care what they have to say? It's not enough for me to see commercials when I'm watching, but to pay monthly too?

    • by N1AK (864906)
      Be careful what you wish for. Do you think the people watching MTV or the golf channel are interested in watching SciFi or other channels that might interest you? I'd bet money that geek tv on cable is effectively subsidised by viewers who have no interest in it. Sure you wouldn't be paying for MTV, but you'd be paying more for the channels you do want to make up for the people who stopped paying for that!
  • by kevinatilusa (620125) <<kcostell> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @10:15PM (#33516296)

    Over a century ago Edison was making sure Alternating Current was used in the Electric Chair [snopes.com], in order to make it seem more dangerous and associate it in people's minds with electrocution.

    • Apparently it took over a minute to finally kill the guy, much like Eduard Delacroix in The Green Mile. Fairly sickening. It would be interesting to know how the results would have been if the next "electricide" was DC. If it was faster, then surely the safety issues are with DC, not AC.

      Just goes to show that political spin isn't a new concept.
  • Ok, so let me get this straight... if I get publicised as being an asshole, I can get free stuff? Reality TV, here I come!
  • Where is her dumpster?

  • I can't help wondering if Steve Ballmer gets inundated by suppliers of office chairs.
  • I tend not to vote for anyone that campaigns using telemarketing techniques, and have wondered if the more obnoxious ones are really coming from their opponents.

    It would seem to be underhanded but effective!

  • This might backfire!

    Wouldn't be the first time to have some stupid anti-celeb turn into a (B-)Celeb and actually start a fashion trend.

  • ... in an insurance ad the other day. They were saying something to the effect of "so-and-so got $OUR_INSURANCE, and when a leaky roof destroyed their Swedish Foam mattress, we sent them a check and now they have the Sleep Number bed. So-and-so's sleep number is 25."

    Blatant negative branding.

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