April, 2013 – This article from Evins discusses using a 24 karat gold dress as a promotion for the Magnum Gold Ice Cream launch in the U.S.  (http://evins.com/aperture/?p=1503)

By Rachel Lamb

Zac Posen is celebrating the launch of the MAGNUM Gold ice cream launch in the United States through designing a 24-karat gold dress that will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival this month. It is worth $1.5 million.

The dress, which appears in a film starring actor Joe Manganiello of “True Blood” fame, will debut April 18. This effort will likely not do anything for either brand in the long run, but the decadence of the dress will likely gain a lot of media buzz and attention in the mean time.

This promotion will add value to Zac Posen’s stature as a designer as it will give him broad exposure in the media and the digital communications executed by Magnum,” said Ron Kurtz, president of American Affluence Research Center. “The promotion will add value to the Magnum brand because it will generate media exposure that could attract potential buyers of the product. It will also create entertaining content for Magnum’s digital communications.”

Mr. Kurtz is not affiliated with Zac Posen or MAGNUM, but agreed to comment as an industry expert. Representatives from either brand did not respond before press deadline.

Mr. Posen designed the couture gown featuring more than 10,000 hand-embroidered 24-karat sequins in five different sizes that were hand-created from sheets of 24-karat gold. The dress took approximately two weeks to make by sewing the delicate sequins using an embroidery technique to accentuate the female shape, per the brand.

The film in which the gown first appears is called “As Good As Gold” and stars Mr. Manganiello and Caroline Correa, who wears the dress. In addition to its debut at the film festival, As Good As Gold will be released on the MAGNUM Facebook page.

Meanwhile, MAGNUM Gold is making its debut in the U.S. market alongside the 24-karat gold gown.

“The partnership makes sense primarily as an effort to attract media attention and create entertaining content for Magnum’s digital and social media activities. Neither partner is likely to be drawing business from the audience of the other partner,” Mr. Kurtz said.

While this partnership will not hurt either brand – after all, it is unlikely that either will take an audience from the other – the connection is not entirely clear.

“It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek. Ice cream and a $1.5 million dress are incongruous and made to make one take notice and smile,” said Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights.

“This is a promotion made for buzz, and is perfect for social media,” he said. “Gold symbolizes wealth and indulgence. It’s natural for brands desirous of young affluent clients.”

When brands create partnerships, it is extremely important that they affiliate themselves with like-minded companies that share the same values and goals.

MAGNUM is releasing all materials, as well as the actual video on the day of the festival, through its social media pages including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube. Given the likely audience for this pairing, millennial females, the marketing makes sense.

Just a few years ago, it ran a series of commercials shot by Karl Lagerfeld and starring actress Rachel Bilson. Given the company’s connection between fashion — Mr. Lagerfeld and Mr. Posen – MAGNUM does seem to be going for a female-centric audience.

Though the goal behind the partnership is not crystal-clear, it does not seem to run the risk of hurting either of the brands, and will certainly create a lot of buzz in the process.

“Other marketers can learn that it may be possible to over spend for such promotions, where little or no synergy exists among the partners, in terms of the exposure and results that are achieved,” Mr. Kurtz said.