When the great comedian Chris Rock grabbed his suit and said, “I’m wearing FUBU,” people laughed and felt the need to share their thoughts on his FUBU statement—it even became a trending topic on Twitter alongside The Oscars! Considering that 39.3 million people were watching, it doesn’t surprise me … that’s millions of dollars worth of advertising directed towards the FUBU brand.
It’s not the first time something like this happens. With other famous product integrations in the past that you hear about in interviews and articles, the LL Cool J GAP Commercial FUBU stays on the map at a larger scale. GAP’s $30 million ad was a major guerilla marketing tactic; after pulling the commercial and firing employees who overlooked the white on white FUBU hat and “for us, by us on the low” rhyme, GAP re-aired the commercial for double the cost. Why? Because even with an ad that is considered the biggest coup in advertising history, the ad worked to GAP’s advantage: GAP was able to tap into African-American and Latino consumers, and that increased their sales dramatically.
When it comes to effective branding, it is no secret that product placements have been one of the keys to my career success. Because of this, I continue to sharpen my ability to effectively integrate products with companies I consult and companies I acquire. i feel that as long as you do what you do best, it will always serve you well. (Look at Donald Trump. He’s got The Apprentice, and even his hair has become a brand in it of itself, but he’s great at real estate and that, will always be his mainstay.)
Back to product integration, some of you may already know that it isn’t something you just put together last minute and throw out there. It involves careful planning. when it’s done right, it’s effective–especially now that consumers are becoming more immune to paid advertisements. Think about it… would Robert DeNiro have gotten away with saying “I’m wearing FUBU?” Of course not. With Chris Rock it works.. Some took it as a joke; some took it seriously—those who were not aware of FUBU’s suit collection looked into it and even placed an order from our suit collection; some continued to laugh, but only Chris Rock and myself would know if there was a product placement in play.
No matter where life takes me, I will always return to what I know best, which is positioning products and brands in popular culture. I have done this with other brands and public figures asides from LL Cool J, like Lennox Lewis and the Kardashians. And now we hear about FUBU from Chris Rock at The Oscars.