American Marketer

Events / Causes

Ferragamo flaunts presence in upcoming movie with premiere sponsorship

August 28, 2013


Italian footwear label Salvatore Ferragamo is flaunting its presence in upcoming Hollywood film “Rush” by sponsoring the opening of the film Sept. 2 in London.

The new film, which is directed by Academy Award winner Ron Howard, is based on a true story about Formula One racing rivals in 1976. The costumes worn by two of the main female characters were designed by Ferragamo, which could give the brand additional exposure if the film does well.

"Ferragamo's strategy of getting involved with movies and pop culture is spot on," said Dalia Strum, professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and founder of Dalia Inc., New York.

"It's a great opportunity to start establishing relationships with the brand's aspirational clientele," she said.

Ms. Strum is not affiliated with Ferragamo, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Ferragamo was unable to comment directly.

On your marks
The movie tells the story of two drivers: methodical Australian Niki Lauda and British playboy James Hunt.

Movie poster

Massimiliano Giornetti, creative director at Ferragamo, designed the costumes for both racers’ wives who are played by actresses Olivia Wilde and Alexandra Maria Lara.

Movie still

Mr. Giornetti chose to reinterpret today’s luxury fashion for the movie’s time period with items including fitted Prince of Wales jackets and short suede jackets with leather trim combined with denim.

In addition to designing the costumes, the brand is also sponsoring the world premiere of the film that takes place Sept. 2 at One Marylebone in London. The event is expected to attract approximately 1,200 guests, according to WWD.

On the big screen
Many luxury marketers have made appearances in feature films.

For instance, Audi of America boosted brand awareness through a role in Disney and Marvel’s Iron Man 3 released earlier this year.

The German-owned automaker was again featured throughout the entire third installment in the Iron Man series, after having a prominent place in the first two. A placement like this in a large feature film likely gave Audi an additional boost in a highly competitive luxury auto market (see story).

Moreover, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ The Plaza, New York, took guests back to the Jazz age with special offers to celebrate the hotel’s role in the film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”

The hotel celebrated the movie’s opening by integrating speakeasy themes into its lounges and restaurants, having the costumes and props from the movie on display, selling themed gift items and creating a suite dedicated to Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. These offers helped The Plaza show off its elaborate history and cultural role (see story).

Brands that have prominent placements in movies give themselves more exposure to a wide consumers market.

"Sponsoring synergistic verticals and content increases relevancy and value for a brand," Ms. Strum said.

"It provides visibility within a target market and the opportunity to give a point of inspiration for the brand and products," she said.

"It's extremely important for brands to have a presence within their target market's interests to boost awareness and establish relevancy."

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York