Don't stop till you get enough: The swag must go on!

Posted on Fri Jul 10 2009

Jackson Swag There will be no comeback tour, obviously, for the late Michael Jackson, but that's no reason to stop production on the 300-some tchotchkes that the King of Pop envisioned to go along with the now scuttled "This is It" concerts in London.At least that's the sentiment from Universal Music Group's merchandising arm, Bravado, and concert promoter AEG, who will begin rolling out the product as soon as this week, according to the L.A. Times. The licensing business has turned a corner in recent years, expanding far beyond T-shirts and trinkets, and apparently Jackson had a firm grasp of that fact. He'd designed some of the massive product line himself, the Times reports, coming up with rhinestone dog tags, fashion-forward handbags, varsity jackets and belt buckles. Of course, since we're talking about Jackson here, no product line would be complete without it’s, shall we say, eccentricities.  There are jigsaw puzzles, games for kids and a sleep mask. If those aren't fodder for a new round of tasteless jokes, I don't know what is. With the explosion in sales of all things MJ, it figures that those involved will be rushing these items into Target, Hot Topic, Spencer's and JCPenney. How long before the DVD of his memorial gets packaged and sold? Bets, anyone?

—Posted by T. L. Stanley

And now, Michael Jackson's final product endorsement

Posted on Wed Jul 8 2009


One of the more unusual (the term is relative) factoids to emerge from yesterday's memorial service for Michael Jackson in Los Angeles proves that, for some of us, top-of-the-line brands matter until the very end-in this case, our conveyance to the pearly gates. The general media made much of the fact that the casket of the deceased pop king was a 24-karat gold model widely reported to be "custom made." Alas, branding novices, the truth is that The Promethean—the top-of-the-line model of Indiana's Batesville Casket Co.—can be had by anyone willing to plunk down the $25,000 it costs to have one. When you call, just ask for model no. Z94-665-LH. Be prepared to specify your choice of velvet interior-lining color: Dark Green, Shasta Lily, Blue Onyx, or Spitfire Red (the Jackson family chose the blue.) The casket (pictured here) is continuously welded bronze that's plated in 14- (sorry, not 24) karat gold, and features a fully adjustable mattress. Batesville's been having a fine fiscal year-its second-quarter 2008 revenues were up 5.6 percent to $191.4 million-though not, apparently, because of a surging demand for Prometheans. "The increased revenue was favorably impacted by a more typical pneumonia and influenza season," according to a press release.

—Posted by Robert Klara




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