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Guerre des sacs

19/06/2008 - par Mark Tungate

An Italian luggage company recently asked me to help it come up with a new way of marketing its products. One thing I won't propose is a campaign suggesting that life is a journey. Around the same time the Italians contacted me, I received a press release from Samsonite. Apparently it is sponsoring a new programme on CNN International called My City, My Life. This involves famous people showing us around their favourite cities. It follows on from Samsonite's print advertising campaign, which features VIPs like Richard Branson and Milla Jovovich and the slogan « Life's a journey »...

Hang on a minute ! Isn't that Louis Vuitton ? I seem to remember a recent TV spot about life being a journey, not to mention some Louis Vuitton print ads featuring famous people and their luggage and a bit of chat about journeys. And isn't there a series of Louis Vuitton internet films in which celebrities guide us around their favourite cities ?

Samsonite launched its print campaign in 2005. Two years later, LV enlisted Gorbachev, Deneuve, Agassi and Graff to sell us luggage.

A coincidence, no doubt, and in fact it doesn't really matter. The journey as metaphor idea is hardly breathtaking in its originality : Buddah used a similar strategy. And it's no surprise that both brands focus on the exterior design of their products. But what does Deneuve carry in her bag ? When it comes to luggage, it's what's inside that counts. Hmm... I think I might be on to something.

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