Is The Devil Wears Prada Really Cursed?

Posted on July 17, 2006

Reuters has a strange article about what it calls "The Curse of The Devil Wears Prada." According to the Luxury Institute, the U.S. economy is not doing so well: the middle class and near rich (defined as those who have a net worth of $1 million to $5 million) is starting to spend less on luxury items, which is not good for retailers.

So what, you might ask, does that have to do with the film The Devil Wears Prada? Apparently, there were about a zillion product placements in that film (because the budget was small) and every company featured in the film has seen its stock price slump -- from Starbucks to Tiffany's.

The share prices of brands that got placement in the movie have almost all slumped more than the wider stock market in recent weeks -- possibly reflecting a new caution about discretionary spending among American shoppers.

Our old economics professors would be horrified. Just because Starbucks' stock price has dropped since the opening of the movie certainly doesn't mean that the movie is somehow cursed. That's just sloppy analysis. Clearly, the stock price has slumped because celebrity Starbucks sightings have been markedly down in the last month. When is the last time we saw Mary Kate and Ashley clutching a frappucino in their tiny little hands as they leave the popular coffee emporium? Or picture of Britney Spears, clutching her favorite Starbucks beverage to her chest as she runs errands with the new manny?

The only pictures we see of Britney lately are of her spitting her gum out of a car window as she goes through the drive-thru window of McDonalds. No photos of Britney drinking Venti Coffee Frappucino With Whipped Cream = slumping Starbucks stock. This is basic Econ 101.

If anything the The Devil Wears Prada film continues to be unusually attractive to journalists who seem to love using the film title in articles. This should help it make more money in the future from rental sales and the brands appearing in the film will be seen again and again. Here's the movie trailer.

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