Love this. Abercrombie & Fitch is offering to pay The Situation, aka Michael Sorrentino, not to wear the brand’s clothes on “Jersey Shore.”
This is hilarious – and exactly the right thing to do.
This is called protecting your brand and, more importantly, knowing who you are for and not for. The Abercrombie & Fitch brand is for a kind of casual yuppie/preppie (excuse the term), and the cast members of the “reality” show are not self-reflections of that brand.
Often, we talk about a brand having a brand face, which is the description of who the target audience is. For it to meaningful, it represents a stake in the ground so that it also says who it is not for. Only then, does it present a true choice.
Apple’s brand face is a show-off innovator (like, uh, me). Nike is a winner. McDonalds is a fun-loving kid. Coca-Cola is a nostalgic adult. And so on.
Of course, Mr. Sorrentino cannot be barred from wearing Abercrombie & Fitch. But, even though Abercrombie & Fitch’s stock price dropped 9% immediately after the announcement, it was the right move in the long run. The offer of payment not only generates PR for the brand, it has those who see their own self-reflection in the brand cheering.