The Devil Wears Prada, directed by David Frankel, can be best described as a quintessential film for fashionistas. Products such as Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Prada, Apple, and Calvin Klein are only a few of the products that are displayed during the movie. With such a wide array of designer brands available to us through the office of one of New York’s largest fashion magazines, it can be hard for a viewer to identify certain products. Rather than discuss the $1,000,000 apparel budget used for this film, I will focus in on one brand. The brand I am choosing to zero in on is the ever so popular brand, Starbucks. Granted Starbucks is not in the business of making over the knee boots or leather handbags, but nevertheless the company was very prevalent in the film.
Andrea, Miranda’s assistant, is filmed making daily runs to Starbucks to get Miranda’s coffee. Placing Starbucks next to big brands such as Chanel, Prada, and D&G shows the viewer that while those brands are the go to in fashion, Starbucks is the go to drink in the fashion industry. An aspect that I found to be extremely relevant to the branding of Starbucks is the woman who is drinking the coffee: Miranda Priestly, a highly praised fashion editor for a famous magazine in New York. For one to be given the duty of providing Miranda with Starbucks can be best described as an honor. This correlation between Miranda and Starbucks shows that to be successful, hardworking, and famous, she relies daily on Starbucks as a motivator.
Though there can be positives seen in the branding of Starbucks in The Devil Wears Prada, I also spotted some negatives. Frequently, Andrea can be found showing up to Miranda’s office with the coffee having spilled out of the lid. Everything’s an Argument states, “A more obvious way to build an emotional tie is simply to help readers identify with your experiences.” (Ruszkiewicz 32). Unfortunately, The Devil Wears Prada connects my emotional bridge to the movie in a negative light. Being a frequent Starbucks drinker, I understand this annoying nuance of coffee spilling out of the lid simply by being in a cup holder or just holding the cup in my own hand. Andrea’s experience is something that I have also dealt with and I truly feel empathy for her! Another negative due to product placement that a viewer might find is the way Andrea is forced to rush from Starbucks to Miranda’s office. What immediately comes to my mind as a viewer is an image of the horribly long line Andrea must have had to wait through. The need for Andrea to rush from Starbucks to the office just reminds the audience of the line we must wait through in order to get our sip of morning greatness.
I give The Devil Wear’s Prada 3 ½ stars for product placement. I believe it loses 1 ½ stars because of the negative representation of Starbucks in the film. Though Starbucks was a relevant brand in the movie and prevalent enough for myself as a viewer to notice, it did not make me want to get up and go wait in line at a Starbucks!