In a scene from the latest installment of the Chinese blockbuster movie series Tiny Times, a glamorously dressed actress pauses while chasing a thief in Rome to do a bit of shopping at luxury house Fendi’s flagship store.
Tiny Times “shot for three days in Palazzo Fendi in Rome, so our stores were featured,” says Pietro Beccari, Fendi’s chief executive officer. Approaching some of the stars of such productions has become very expensive, he says. “We had the luck to have been chosen for product placement without having to pay for it.”
Other luxury brands, including Michael Kors and L’Oréal’s Lancome, are also looking to profit on the buzz generated by the critically panned but wildly popular Tiny Times series of books and films, which follows four women from Shanghai as they live opulent lives dressed in fur coats, sipping Champagne, and surrounded by male models. (Think Sex and the City, with less sex but more shoes.)
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