Van Heusen Taps Classic Hollywood Celebrity Movie Clip Licensing For New Ad


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How The Brand Uses Movie Moves To Sell A Shirt

You may not hear about Van Heusen as much as other brands these days, but they're a big deal. The huge company owns such brands as Tommy Hilfiger and MICHAEL Michael Kors. And most of the time, their marketing is spent on the brands they own.

However, their latest spot caught our eye with the use of an old Hollywood staple, taking us down movie memory lane. In this blog, Hollywood Branded takes a look at how Van Heusen's new ad makes perfect use of classic Hollywood celebrity movie clip licensing endorsements.

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The Cartoonish Tight-Collar Move Becomes The Focus Of This Hilarious Ad

The classic Hollywood move of loosening your collar when you get nervous - you know, the one that probably only happens in the movie - is a Hollywood staple we forget is so prevalent until we see a cartoon character doing it. And in this ad, we are reminded of it as Buster Keaton, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, James Caan, Charlie Sheen, Leslie Nielsen and even Homer Simpson pull the classic move.


The point of the ad is to advertise Van Heusen's new flex-collar, a specially designed shirt collar that won't choke you in times of nervous anticipation. Check it out:

Nostalgia Is An Incredibly Effective Marketing Technique

Even though the flex-collar shirt wasn't around in the days of these movie scenes, that doesn't mean Van Heusen can't use it in their marketing as they prove to us with this ad. One of the most important parts of entertainment marketing is to think outside of the box.

Another important way marketers can use Hollywood is through nostalgia. Rolex used this to their advantage during the Oscars with an ad that reminisced on their product placements in great films over the years.

Something about connecting with your audience through Hollywood is personal, authentic, and nostalgic. We may all be from different walks of life, but we all remember such greats as Dean Martin and hey, even Homer Simpson.

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Movie Clip Licensing

Brands over the years - from Dirt Devil using Frank Sinatra to digitally shell (we mean sell) their vacuum cleaners, to Heineken incorporating clips of both movie footage and James Bond's Daniel Craig - have leveraged movie clips for their :30 TV ads.  For a brand to get access to this content, it's a multi-step process.  

First, you have the movie rights - which means finding and sourcing the rights holder (aka owner) of the movie footage.  This might be the original studio, or the film could have been sold to another content library.  The storyboards for the commercial spot are shared and reviewed, and a legal contract complete with a pricetag is drawn up which provides the brand the rights to the clip.  

Then, the actor in the scene typically has to weigh in and either sign away the rights to their image (hah right - expect signing away those rights with a payday attached!)  This means working with the actor's talent agent.  Or in the case of a deceased celebrity, to the owner of their image, which may often be a family member although many of the bigger names are part of licensing libraries held by agencies.

And then of course is one more element that many people forget.  The music!  IF and only if the music or song in the scene is being used as part of the ad campaign, then the music rights need to also be paid for and licensed.

All of these steps are doable. It just takes knowing who to go to, what to ask, and the know-how to negotiate.  Which is why we always advise working with a knowledgable agency to assist your brand.

Think Product Placement Could Add Life To Your Marketing?

Are you interested in integrating product placement into your entertainment marketing mix, but simply don’t know where to start? There is so much more to product placement than you may think,  and it is important to be educated about the key tactics to best fit your brand. Download our Product Placement 101 Infographic today to start learning more!

Product Placement & Co-Promotions 101 Guide