Barbie And Birkenstock: The Clever Integration Of Products In Pop Culture And Its Impact On Brand Value


The supposedly ‘uncool’ alternative to the mainstream pink shimmery heels, Birkenstock is having its ‘Cinderella’ moment. Ever since the sandal was roasted by Margot Robbie in the movie, Barbie, it has garnered quite the attention. Bouncing off the success of Barbie, the German shoe manufacturing brand, Birkenstock, is eyeing an IPO valuation at $8Bn.

The private firm backed by the luxury giant LVMH is considering a public offering as early as September and if all goes to plan, it will join the long list of products that became cult-classics due to their appearance in pop-culture. Here’s a few times product placement was done a little too perfectly.

Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Birkenstock and Product Placement

Nobody has come closer to doing what ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ has done for the jewellery brand Tiffany & Co. The brand has become synonymous with Audrey Hepburn and the sharp nostalgia for the movie star still drives fashion enthusiasts to burn a hole in their pockets for a Tiffany & Co product. I remember watching the movie and immediately afterwards scrounging the internet for the cheapest Tiffany & Co product I could have in my possession.

But as it turned out, a breakfast outside Tiffany & Co was the only available option for me. The brand’s showroom still stands out as famous tourist space for the fans of the movie. It is the effect of the product’s importance in the movie that makes it one of the most famous product placements of all time and has kept it alive in people’s consciousness even after more than 50 years.


Remember the quiet luxury trend that took the fashion industry by a storm recently? Well, as it turns out, nobody bothered to inform this one character from the hit show, Succession. Lacking the generational wealth her peers enjoy, Bridget makes her way to the party with this ‘in-your-face’ Burberry bag and gets trolled by everyone in the party. The bag’s very existence blows in the face of stealth wealth and quiet luxury.

As it turns out, getting roasted in a successful TV show is quite helpful to a brand. Burberry saw a noticeable hike in its Google search results and became a popular meme on social media. Just another example of product placement done well.

Sex And The city

Louise got her very first Louis Vuitton handbag for being Carrie’s secretary. But wait, was it just a sweet gesture of friendship from Carrie? Of course not. The whole stint is a great example of product placement. The first time I watched Sex and the City, I remember thinking how odd of a choice it was to gift a bag like that to the person who helped you get back on your feet after a nasty break-up. The movie however made me believe that just because the bag was from a big brand like Louis Vuitton, it was perfect.

The bag became the subject of many memes that cluttered the internet at the start of January. But even bad press is good press, right? The movie has a large fanbase and anyone who has ever seen it knows about the infamous Louis Vuitton bag which just proves how good of a product placement it was.

The Devil Wears Prada

Image via Pinterest

If even the devil wears Prada, who am I not to? Admittedly, the movie hasn’t aged well with the viewers due to its misleading portrayal of the fashion industry and toxic work culture. However, its impact on the fashion industry is undeniable. A celebrity sporting a layered Chanel necklace with a tweed jacket and mini-skirt makes me immediately think of Anne Hathaway’s character from the movie. The famous Chanel boots that Andrea wears after her makeover became a successful meme during the pandemic.


The movie showcases two iconic Chanel pieces that have stood the test of time and forever established a tie with the movie and the character.


What better way to promote your brand than having the brand’s founder himself appear in one of the most successful shows in TV history? Rachel Green started working as an executive in Ralph Lauren in season 5, a job she kept until the end of the show before moving to Paris.

The brand was so carefully integrated into the very seams of the show that Ralph Lauren was able to capitalise on the show’s 25th anniversary wherein it launched a capsule collection inspired by the characters of the show. Ralph Lauren himself appeared in one of the episodes that solidified the brand’s hold on the show.

Image via Ralph Lauren

It all goes to show successful integration of a brand in pop culture not only helps the character of the movie or show but also enhances the footprint of the brand. The next time you see yourself getting pulled towards a certain look in your favourite show,  know that it just might be placed there only for you.

Images via Pinterest

Also read, Barbiecore Beauty Isn’t Going Anywhere And Here’s Proof

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content