Jersey Shore's Trashiness Reaches Epic New Level: The Game Theory Approach

Everyone knows Jersey Shore is trashy, but is that trashiness quantifiable in any realistic way? Apparently so, as the guidos of Jersey Shore are being used -- in such an explicit dirty manner -- as pawns in luxury goods consumerism warfare. How?

Fashion brands are sending their competitors gear for the Jersey Shore kids to rock. The theory is simple:

Step 1. Prada or someone sends Snooki a Gucci bag. Step 2. If Snooki is seen walking around with a Gucci bag, Gucci gets trashier. Step 3 People looking for stronger luxury brand identity buy Prada bags, because only trashy people like Snooki are seen with Gucci bags.

It's kind of genius. Simon Doonan from the New York Observer notes:

Call it what you will -- "preemptive product placement"? "unbranding"? -- either way, it's brilliant, and it makes total sense. As much as one might adore Miss Snickerdoodle, her ability to inspire dress-alikes among her fans is questionable. The bottom line? Nobody in fashion wants to co-brand with Snooki.

Fashion, not so much. The gym, tanning, and laundry industries? Still on board, here. NBC News Philly takes stock of the common-noun situation at hand:

Who knew the strategies of Game Theory would come so naturally to the fashionistas who think a $5,000-price tag for a handbag is a reasonable marketing move?

Well, anyone who's either taken place in the widely held assumption or experienced firsthand the catty, bitchy terrors that work in any aspect of luxury fashion brands. This is Sorority Machiavellian-level play, and, really, nothing but good news, as taste standards are still high even if the behavior to set them is kinda low, but the long-term benefit is there: The world economy is swirling, swirling around, and, uh, if fashion brands are bitchy enough to assume people will buy into their own brands based on not wanting to buy into what someone they hate owns, then "consumer confidence" has to be -- at least, kinda -- up.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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