June 30, 2004

Stroller Companies: 'You Are Celebrity Pram-Chasing Lemmings'

I can't top this, so I'll just link and quote a lot:

Lists of the nation's top celebrities are being scoured by PR consultants for names of glamorous stars. They must be young, beautiful and - most importantly - have a child young enough to ride in the latest, must-have, showbiz accessory: the pushchair...

"The Gwyneth Effect has taken off...The pram says everything about a person, [according to one pram store owner.] It says 'I have arrived' [with an annotated copy of Us Weekly and a walletful of money please take it all I must rely on celebrities and commissioned salespeople to tell me how to be a good parent.]'"

...The effect is so great that product placement has become a primary marketing tool...

"Product placement and sending celebrity mothers-to-be buggies is important," says Simon Hathway, European marketing manager for Maclaren. "Once they are photographed then people who aspire to be like them want the same accessories."

-from The Observer (UK): 'Star babies push buggy battles to new heights'. It seems no dads were harmed or mentioned in the making of this article.

Product placement, according to at least one ad expert, rarely works, often backfires, and is a sign of marketer laziness. But how to explain 'The Gwyneth Effect'? Wild, pregnancy-related hormone fluctuations? Or is it just that the British are all chumps? Now more than ever, it seems a dad's job is to counter rampant Us Weekly-ism

Related: Ask yourself: Do you want a Bugaboo because...[dt]
Seal Drives A Bugaboo!!! [ummm...]
Brands Need 'Consumer Conversation Department' [adrants]
Brit paparazzi chase Paltrow-Martins to, around NYC [celebrity baby blog]

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