As the steamy movie version of the Fifty Shades of Grey book hits cinema, marketing teams around the world are desperately trying to jump on the social media bandwagon. Sex sells, I get it. #fiftyshades #50shadesofgrey #fiftyshades #christiangrey it’s all trending and so of course all good marketing teams are trying to find a way to join in. For me it’s Fifty Shades of Desperate because already I’m so bored with the puns, memes, campaigns and innuendos associated with this movie!
The Fifty Shades of Grey book sold over 100 million copies and with the movie just released on February 13th, conveniently before Valentine’s Day it was predictable that we would see campaigns from condom companies, adult merchandise and the erotica industry but it hasn’t ended there. Here are some of the strangest ones I have encountered whilst thinking about the whole fifty shades of desperate topic:
Fifty Shades of Grey Bear
Remember when teddy bears were innocent and cuddly.. something fluffy on your bed which you slept with? Forget that because now the Vermont Teddy Bear Company has made a “Fifty Shades” bear which comes complete with a business suit, handcuffs and a mask. Wrong? Yep!
Fifty Shades of Grey Nail Polish
Ok so this is less creepy than the bear, a gift pack of six different grey shades to make your nails look pretty. Exclusive to Macy’s the gift pack contains colours such as “My Silk Tie”, “Dark Side of the Mood”. Ok I admit it I kind of want these.
Fifty Shades of Earl Grey Tea
Seriously.. Early Grey? My Mum drinks that! If ever a company were to veer dramatically away from its values it’s this one! The special blend contains rooibos tea, orange and blue cornflowers, and seems to encourage sipping and whipping at the same time according to some reviews.
Fifty Shades of Fabric Softener
Surf’s special “scentsual oils” edition featured a pair of handcuffs hanging off the “S” in the brand’s logo prompting a ton of online outrage and even a petition! It’s fabric softener.. seriously how can that be sexualised? Well anyway it has and so if you are collecting fifty shades memorabilia you can just head to the cleaning aisle apparently.
Fifty Shades of Grey Paint
Dulux and numerous other paint retailers have jumped on the movie to promote their paint ranges with original titles such as “Fifty Shades of Grey Paint”. The boring reality is that it is grey paint. Dark grey, light grey and somewhere in the middle grey but give them cool names and it becomes sexy. Imagine painting your room “strip me silver” or “whip me white”… ok I made those up but you get the idea!
Other bizarre marketing campaigns have included wine, jewellery, cars, all sorts of food items, beauty products, baby clothes and even household appliances.
If you are working in marketing then it makes sense to jump on the gravy train that is the Fifty Shades movie but are some brands taking it too far? I think so. Tweet me your thoughts @charli_says