This is a book excerpt from “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations” by Ronn Torossian
Daymond John-Aurum, CEO and founder of the legendary clothing company FUBU (For Us By Us—now called FB Legacy), is a legend within the urban fashion and youth designer arena. “It’s part of our hands-on, grassroots marketing efforts that happens to be very effective,” says Aurum. “We do a lot of product placement on American Idol, The Apprentice, and we also work with specific celebrities who wear items from the brand while they are performing.”
FUBU clothing came out of a tradition of urban culture and youth style. It was originally created by and for African Americans, but reaches a much larger audience today. It’s a brand that people wear from Detroit to Duluth, from Boston to Hollywood. Aurum says that to be really successful with product placement requires consistency and frequency. “If you have only one person wearing or using an item once, then no one sees it,” he says. If an item is integrated into many music videos and is being worn by many artists, there’s a collective power to that. “We end up getting a huge bang for our buck from that because young people view video as a modern-day CNN—that’s where they get a lot of information about what to wear, what to say, or how to walk,” he says. When more than one artist is seen wearing something in a video or in a film, even though there is an awareness by some that they might be getting paid, there’s still an impression in the consumer’s mind that he or she is wearing the item out of choice and preference.
Trading the cost of one commercial for placement in a video makes incredible economic sense to Aurum. “On average, one video airs on one major station for about three and a half minutes 10 times a day. This hits 1 to 2 million viewers per showing.
If the song makes it to the Top 10, it will run for two and a half months,” he explains. If you had to pay to make a commercial and run it for the same amount of time a music video runs, it would be much more expensive. And that’s without the built-in celebrity endorsement. Taking it further, those celebrities and artists are also depicted in entertainment and fan magazines and newspapers worldwide; they’re tweeted about, “liked” on Facebook, and talked about in fan chat rooms and discussion boards. That kind of product placement reaches so far into the universe it is mind-boggling. Very few advertisements can make such a claim.
Pitching the media, producing material for publication, placing products, getting mentioned in the press, blogging, tweeting, pulling publicity stunts, placing products in the right shows or putting them in the right celebrity hands is a ton of work. It’s a full-time job, in fact. You might be thinking, “How am I going to pull PR off when I’ve got a job to do every day?” You’re not.
For people who are busy running brands and businesses, you need help. You wouldn’t do accounting on your own, nor would you represent yourself in the legal system. What makes you think you can do PR by yourself?
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