SamCam breaks into Hollywood: How Smythson is using product placement to crack America
Trend-setter: Samantha Cameron”s involvement with Smythson has helped boost the company”s profile
Even in the hard-headed world of product placement, Smythson never puts an elegant foot wrong.
The exclusive stationery brand – which famously employs Samantha Cameron – is only seen in the most glossy productions.
Now, in its latest appearance – in the new Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – it even has the advantage of being historically accurate.
Frank Smythson opened his first store on Bond Street in 1887 – the same year that Arthur Conan Doyle”s fictional detective first appeared in print.
The company has revealed that it sent producers a number of diaries to choose from and a smart red one pops in one scene.
It is far fromthe first time the company has been promoted subliminally.
SamCam has been known to leave handbags and diaries lying around casually in thebackground of photo shoots – most notoriously in a Harpers and Bazaar shoot in 2007.
Thesmart stationery also made an appearance in Tom Ford”s beautifully-shot film A Single Man and has been seen in James Bond and in the uber-fashionable TV show Gossip Girl.
Mrs Cameron stepped down from her 400,000 full-time creative director job two days after her husband became Prime Minister.
She now works for the company for around two days a week.
However, her involvement has undoubtedly boosted Smythson”s profile – and presumably made it easier to secure product placement contracts.
Those contracts have helped the company to triple its profits this year to 2.4m – largely boosted by a wider recognition in the U.S.
Aspokesman for the stationers told MailOnline: ‘We do not have a product placement policy, but we provide samples on request by reviewing each case individually for brand awareness and relevance.’
The spokesman added that Smythson is regularly approached by prop masters for items to borrow so gets to pick and choose its deals.
Smythson is not the only luxury brand involved in product placement.
Historically accurate: The new Sherlock Holmes film features a close-up of a Smythson leather diary
Placement: A Smythson diary similar to the one used in the film
Lady Gaga”s Bad Romance video counts 12 product slots for everyone from Burberry to Versace via Phillipe Starck, La Perla and McQueen.
Meanwhile, Bella Swan”s heavily publicised Carolina Herrera wedding dress in the latest Twilight film showed a glimpse of a Manolo Blahnik shoe peeping out from under it.
Product placement has become a huge source of funds for the film industry.
In 2010, companies spent about 1.16 billion getting on-screen prominence for their brands.
On the up: Smythson”s profits have tripled this year. Pictured is the Bond Street flagship store