Thrift Finds a New Groove


It is well known that product placement in popular songs is one tool in the marketing department’s tool chest for increasing awareness and acceptance for brands. This is especially true for luxury brands. Having a celebrity endorse your product or be seen in public carrying complementary merchandise gets the brand noticed. Culturally, music permeates our society today more so than before. Everywhere you go, people on the street have ear buds or flashy headphones attached to their heads. Songs that mention high end luxury brands were popular a few years back. A company tried to keep track using American Brandstand. Mentions such as Kanye West for Louis Vuitton, Black Eyed Peas for Fendi, and Gwen Stefani’s signing the virtues of Vivienne Westwood are just a small sample.

While driving this weekend with the radio on, I was listening to the Number One song for the week – Thrift Store by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz. I won’t add a link to the song video due to some of the questionable lyrics. However, while the song is firmly rooted in the tongue in cheek genre, and the 200+ million YouTube hits is testament that this is a fun video to watch – it does carry some pretty interesting messages and is more reflective of our post recession attitudes.

The singer makes fun of people for losing their individuality and willingness to shed $50 for a t-shirt that everybody else will be wearing. He extols the fun of finding a pair of awesome sneakers and making them even more cool with his own additions. He even tells you how to do it “bag it, copping it, washing it, bout to go and get some compliments.” Although I am not clear if copping really refers to stealing the item as he does say he has $20 to spend at the store. Finally, the real fun at any thrift store is the thrill that you get from an amazing find. It’s like winning the lottery  – “… brown leather jacket that I found, dig it” and it’s why people return to thrift shops time and time again to see what is new and if there are any undiscovered treasures.

Well I don’t think that luxury brands should be shaking in their boots fretting that their customers are going to ditch their goods and replace them with second hand finds. The song is going against Justin Timberlake’s Suit and Tie song. However, I think stores like Goodwill may get a boost in sales and maybe a good laugh along the way.


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