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Gossip Girl revival is luxury’s gateway to Gen Z

Luxury Daily

August 8th, 2021

With the premiere of HBO Max’s Gossip Girl reboot, established and emerging luxury brands
have a new avenue for reaching the next generation of consumers.
The new Gossip Girl, which debuts on the streaming platform on July 8 in the United States,
follows the glamorous and scandalous lives of high schoolers in New York in the same vein as
its predecessor, which aired from 2007 to 2012. Luxury brands from Louis Vuitton to Cartier
and Tiffany & Co. were woven into the original show – from the characters’ clothing and
accessories to complete storylines befitting their Upper East Side lifestyles – and the revival
offers another platform to reach potential shoppers who are more resistant to traditional forms
of advertising.

“The world of Gossip Girl in 2007 might as well be another planet to today,” said James
Denman, executive director of strategy and digital innovation at YARD NYC, New York. “For
luxury brands, the same holds true.

“From communication platforms to collaborations, the walled garden that luxury existed in has
been torn down, and permissiveness that wasn’t there is now prevalent in the world’s biggest
luxury brands,” he said. “In truth, Gossip Girl’s reputation now isn’t a hindrance, but an added
benefit for those brands who may well be seeking to raise their profile by plugging more
directly into pop culture and new audiences.”

More partnerships between luxury brands and the new cast are likely to follow, with marketers
looking to make inroads with Gen Zers and younger millennials as their purchasing power –
and influence – grows.

“You’re getting the opportunity to double dip with audiences,” Mr. Denman said. “On one
hand, you can introduce the show’s new Gen Z audience to the brand, while hitting the late
millennial who watched the show during its original run with a new context for your brand at
the same time.

While the medium of television has evolved, many of the guiding principles for product
placement still hold true for luxury brands.

“If you’re looking for cultural relevancy and association, then the benefits of streaming, while
seemingly less tangible, are more effective in the medium- and long-term as they create a halo
effect for the brand,” said YARD NYC’s Mr. Denman. “So it really comes down to objectives,
and how you use your owned channels to amplify the placement in a smart manner.”