Reading a very interesting article this morning about the reality show ‘Jersey Shore’ and the clothing label Abercrombie and Fitch. For those of you not familiar with Jersey Shore, it is pretty much about young people clubbing, partying hard all living in the Jersey area of New York. Abercrombie and Fitch is not in Australia yet, but they position their brand as ‘the essence of privilege and luxury’, a youth label with notoriously gorgeous models, sales staff and exceptionally merchandised stores. I have been to quite a few of their stores throughout US and Canada and was flabbergasted when people were made to line up to enter. Slimmer and more attractive customers actually get let in without a concern, while those apparently ‘less attractive’ wait a little longer.
They are fierce protectors of their brand, with image and the sense of aspiration associated with them paramount. So it came as no surprise to me they have offered Jersey Shore cast members a significant amount of money to stop wearing their brand on the television show. A high rating program, aired to what I would imagine to be a huge slice of Abercrombie’s target market and they want them to stop?? Unthinkable you say. Well actually not really. The show does represent a certain type of person, the antics and ridiculous behavior although amusing, is certainly not complimentary to A&F brand. Over the years they have never strayed from their stringent branding guidelines, even the store and its clothing is sprayed with A&F fragrances, so when you leave, regardless if you have purchased an item or not, you are left with the lingering reminder you have been there. I certainly don’t agree with some of the representations and brand values that A&F have, but I do applaud how they are uncompromising in the protection of its equity.
So here is a comparison of a Jersey Show cast member and an Abercrombie and Fitch model (spot the difference). This may help explain why they want them to stop wearing their clothes.
Love to know what others think though.
Posted by LJ.