“Expanding Line of Dunder Mifflin Products Shows Success in Reverse Product Placement” was written by Stuart Elliott and published by the New York Times. That article immediately caught my attention because I have been a diehard fan of NBC’s hit comedy The Office for years. If you haven’t seen the show, it features the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company and portrays its employees in hilarious everyday situations.
The Quill.com, which is a division of Staples, is expanding its product line of Dunder Mifflin inspired items. I have learned that of the four ways to grow sales:
- Sell more
- Find new customers
- Raise price/profit margin
- *New products*
Creating new products is the number one way. The company currently produces Dunder Mifflin copy paper and they have now added new products such as notepads, markets, paper cups and sticky notes.
In the past, Dunder Mifflin has used a reverse product placement approach. The article explains that instead of using the traditional product placement idea which places an actual brand in a fictional movie or television show, it takes an imaginary brand, which in this case is Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, and brings it to real life. The article mentions that this isn’t the first time this technique has been used. Other popular brands such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurants inspired from the ever popular movie “Forrest Gump” and Wonka candy products inspired from the movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” have capitalized off the reverse product placement concept.
The concept of co-branding is mentioned in the article as well. I know that co-branding occurs when two companies work together to create marketing synergy. One example of this occurred when Breyers Ice Cream teamed up with Oreos to create Oreo Cookies & Cream Ice Cream. In the case of Dunder Mifflin, actual brands, such as Dixie and Sharpie, have co-branded with the fictional paper company.