Eat Pray Love spawns attempt to license, market, profit

By T.L. Stanley on Wed Jul 28 2010

Eat-Pray-Love Fans of the Elizabeth Gilbert travelogue/romance novel Eat Pray Love might've wanted to wrap themselves in a paisley tunic, put Juti sandals on their feet and toss a prayer shawl over their shoulders while writing their own soul-searching prose in a colorful leather journal. Now they can. These items, most of them branded Eat Pray Love after the best-selling book and the upcoming Columbia Pictures movie with Julia Roberts, are available at Cost Plus World Market. There's a whole themed shop-within-a-shop, in fact, featuring copies of the book, Indonesian sarongs, handmade stationery, yoga mats, beaded necklaces, tea pots and meditation bells. (There's also a contest attached that sends winners trekking Gilbert's path through Italy, India and Indonesia). It's not the first time that an upscale adult-targeted flick has created licensed product and/or retail boutiques—see: Sex and the City, Moulin Rouge, Memoirs of a Geisha—but it's an especially clever partnership. The demo of boho World Market shoppers and Gilbert aficionados match up perfectly, and the promotion has just the right mix of function and aspiration. It can live with or without a hit movie. In a word: brilliant. (But don't bet against Roberts—the movie opens Aug. 13. Watch the trailer that recently launched on TV here.)

Twinkies are far from undead with a starring role in 'Zombieland'

Posted on Fri Oct 2 2009

Woody Harrelson is on a cross-country trek for a safe haven in Zombieland, killing loads of the living dead along the way. But his real quest is for a spongy snack treat. His search for the last box of Hostess Twinkies provides some of the best ongoing gags in the flick, which picks up the Shaun of the Dead rom-zom-com genre and brings it stateside. The golden cakes remind Harrelson's badass road-warrior character, Tallahassee, of a simpler time. You know, before crazed cannibals took over the country in a virulent apocalypse. He and his sidekick, Columbus, played by Jesse Eisenberg, raid grocery stores looking for the snack, because "believe it or not," Tallahassee says, "Twinkies have an expiration date." At one point, they bust into a Hollywood mansion to see if anyone there had a junk-food fixation, but come up empty. "I told you we should have gone to Russell Crowe's!" another character, Wichita, cries. The irony: Harrelson reportedly eats clean and hasn't scarfed a Twinkie in decades. Some kind of cornmeal cake subbed for a real Twinkie, so the star didn't have to clog his arteries for his art. No word if cash changed hands for this plum product placement, which has Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle cult cred written all over it. (Hostess execs were at the premiere, so they apparently get the joke.) The Columbia Pictures movie, from first-time director Ruben Fleischer and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, is already the top seller on Fandango and is expected to be No. 1 at the box office this weekend. Keeping an eye on what it does for late-night Twinkie sales.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley



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