How do you get a Hollywood A-lister to become the new face for your lingerie brand — especially if he’s a man? Hint: It helps to be in the right place at the right time, and it helps even more if you’re small.
Urban Fox, a two-person indie label from Chicago, got some major screen time in the recent Vince Vaughn-Kevin James comedy The Dilemma, without having to pay the hefty product placement fees so often charged by movie studios.
In fact, Urban Fox gets such conspicuous attention in the Ron Howard film — showing up in two consecutive scenes — that viewers might assume they paid Sex and the City-sized fees for the plug.
In the first instance, Vince Vaughn is riding in a Chicago subway car while sitting in front of an Urban Fox poster. In the next scene, he’s sitting on an outdoor bus stop bench which is also covered with an Urban Fox ad.
So is Vince Vaughn the brand’s new pitchman? And is Urban Fox the biggest lingerie brand in the Midwest (or at least the biggest advertiser)?
Not at all, says company co-owner Lizzie Cook, who was highly amused at the attention generated by her brand’s screen time.
The first UF appearance in The Dilemma came about, Cook said, because she had a friend on the film crew and they needed “any cleared advertising” — essentially a waiver from a company to allow its name or logo to be visible in film shots.
The second UF spot was a last-minute addition when the crew couldn’t find a different cleared ad to place on the bench where Vaughn was sitting.
“It’s always such a headache to get clearances,” said Cook, who is also a freelance costume designer who has worked on film sets.
“The bigger the company, the more difficult it is to get a clearance,” she added. “I’m a tiny company, so I’m happy to put our ad wherever.”
In fact, the four-year-old Urban Fox already has a list of screen credits, including background appearances in four horror movies such as The Unborn. (Horror films have an especially hard time getting permission from brands to use their names and trademarks.)
Urban Fox’s appearance in The Dilemma generated “a few orders” and lots of email and Facebook messages, Cook said. The only downside was that the film studio didn’t release still photos of the two Urban Fox scenes that the company could use in its promotions.
“I don’t think Ron Howard was terribly excited about all that free advertising,” Cook said.
For those unfamiliar with Urban Fox, the label specializes in handcrafted, eco-friendly undies made from organic cotton, linen and other sustainable materials. A new collection is currently in development, Cook said.
In the meantime, you can enjoy these images from the brand’s terrific “circus” photoshoot, which captures its vintage-esque appeal very well.