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50 Shades of Grey marketing phenom goes mainstream
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“Thanks in part to the rise of pop culture hits such as `Fifty Shades of Grey‘ and `Sex and the City,’ many consumers are looking for products to help add some spice and increase the pleasure within their relationships,” said Bruce Weiss, vice president of marketing at Trojan.
This is what Simon Reed, 28, knew about that as he waited patiently for a vibrator with about 400 other people in Midtown: “My girlfriend sent me.”
The Fifty phenom has also filled up Etsy with bondage crafts and is keeping Grey-maniacs at Pinterest busy. At Amazon, “Laters, Baby” wall decals with a handcuff motif are on sale, honoring one of Christian’s fave farewells (stolen from his brother).
Wendy Ong, EMI’s vice president of classics in the U.S., hasn’t seen this kind of action in forever.
“Who would have thought classical music and `Fifty Shades of Grey,’ you know. It’s a stretch, right, but it’s actually a great partnership,” she said. “It’s amazing in this day and age for these books to be causing so much interest in classical music.”
Not all classical music, mind you. The download and CD due out Sept. 11 on Capitol Records (owned by EMI) includes 15 tracks featured in the books, including the obscure “Tallis: Spem in Alium” by The Tallis Scholars, as in Chapter 25, Book One.
The recording as a single download climbed to No. 1 on iTunes in July for classical music in the UK and US.
Robert Pattinson hasn’t read the books and told a Comic-Con crowd he would probably just lick the pages if he tried, but the newly solo actor showed up in a few shades of gray for the New York premiere Monday of his new movie, “Cosmopolis,” and again to ring the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange.
R-Patz was in Gucci, but bespoke tailors Norton & Townsend back home in the UK came up with a line of menswear in Fifty-friendly shades of generous grey, guilty pleasure grey and gentle grey.
As for rope, one of Manhattan’s largest and oldest hardware stores, Garber Hardware in the West Village, noted a 10 percent uptick in sales from about March _ soon after the books took off _ to July, compared with the same period a year ago.
“Anecdotally speaking, it would certainly be reasonable to attribute that to the Fifty Shades phenomenon,” said Nathaniel Garber, the great-great-grandson of the store’s founder. “I’m looking at my rope department right now and it’s half empty, and it’s been like that for the past few months.”
Grey, by the way, should rethink his choice of rope _ in the first book he requests five feet of natural filament during a trip to the hardware store where Ana works. Garber recommends a 12-gauge, non-braided nylon. “It’s soft. Non-braided is also easier to tie,” he said.
Sales are roof-raising for Babeland since all things Fifty took over. With three adult toy stores in New York, one in Seattle and a website, co-founder Claire Cavanah reports a 40 percent boost in business for bondage toys.
“Attendance at our free events where we offer sex tips for turning fantasies into reality based on the sex scenes in Fifty Shades of Grey has been overwhelming,” she said.
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