Christina Hendricks, one of the stars of TV series Mad Men (she plays office manager Joan Holloway), has became a new face of American clothing company London Fog. This is, in my opinion, great news. Let me explain why.
For the last few years London Fog has been putting celebrities in their ads – they’ve used supermodel Gisele Bundchen, the NBA-Hollywood couple Tony Parker & Eva Longoria, and now for the fall 2010 ad campaign actress Christina Hendricks. Christina is one of the upcoming Hollywood stars. She has quite a long career in TV show business, but is best known for her role in Mad Men. Recently she’s been named “the sexiest woman in the world” in a poll of female readers taken by Esquire magazine.
The most interesting part of cooperation between Ms Hendricks and London Fog is that it’s basically an extension of the product placement from the opening episode of Mad Men’s third season. Such extensions are usually part of tie-in operations that allow the advertiser to make reference to a film in which its brand or products are placed. Let’s see one of the most obvious cases: Omega & James Bond.
Omega has been a part of James Bond movies since 1995 when GoldenEye hit the movie theatres. That year Pierce Brosnan took over the role of James Bond and began wearing the Omega Seamaster watch. In all later films Brosnan and also Daniel Craig wore an Omega. When Omega recognised the success of their tie-in with the character of James Bond, they quickly made Pierce Brosnan an official Omega Ambassador.
The Omega- Bond cooperation is an example of a very common part of movie marketing. Companies usually put movie stars in their ads while the movie is still in the theatres, but that was not the case with Christina Hendricks. In that aspect the cooperation between Mad Men and London Fog is more interesting. London Fog played an important part in the “Out of Town” episode (S03E01), which aired a year ago, on 16th August 2009. So, it’s been a long time since London Fog’s product placement occurred and another interesting fact: Christina had no association with the brand in that episode. Nevertheless, at the moment Mad Men is the best show around (recently it received the third successful Emmy award for Outstanding Drama Series), so why not use one of the prettiest faces from the show in your ad.
A few words about London Fog’s product placement: in my opinion it was one of the best executions of product placement in recent memory. Apparently their placement in Mad Man was paid, but nevertheless it was flawless. Dari Marder, Chief Marketing Officer of the Iconix Brand Group (who owns London Fog), said, that London Fog was actually first approached by Mad Med to work the brand into the show. “They went through archive ads, materials and product,” she said. “We were thrilled with how it turned out, the integration was seamless.” You can read an extensive review of that placement in the post London Fog in Mad Men.