Marketing Scandal: Yes, you too can be Olivia Pope


Over the past three years, American viewers have been tuning in each Thursday evening to ABC’s cult-like phenomenon, Scandal, to witness what new crisis heroine Olivia Pope will resolve. As the series enters its fourth season, anticipation and excitement continues to grow for the Shonda Rhimes-crafted drama that remains one of the top-rated drama series on television. Viewers now have something more to look forward to—more than just the latest twist in the ongoing Olivia/Fitz love affair—an Olivia Pope-inspired clothing line!

The Limited made national headlines in September when they announced a partnership with ABC, the series’ costume designers and Kerry Washington, who plays the role of Olivia Pope. The “Scandal Collection” launched on September 23 with 42 pieces of clothing, including everything from blouses to trousers and even Olivia’s iconic cape-like sweaters and outdoor wear. The attire, which ranges in price from $49 to $248, has been a sensational hit for the clothing store as many pieces are already sold out online.The-Limited

While viewers now have the opportunity to look and feel like Olivia Pope, the campaign is devilishly delicious for both ABC and The Limited. For ABC, this is the first time a television network, a series’ star and costume designer have collaborated with a clothing brand. Banana Republic and Ralph Lauren have also previously crafted clothing lines based on hit television shows (Mad Men and Downton Abbey, respectively), but both were inspired by the shows, not in direct collaboration with one of show’s leading stars. However, ABC has become known for innovative marketing tactics, most recently when the network made national headlines for helping launch a 2012 Target and Neiman Marcus’ partnership with an integrated campaign during the drama Revenge.

This latest partnership with The Limited and Scandal elevates brand engagement to a whole new level. The hit show’s popularity continues to grow and dominates weekly water cooler conversations, so an in-store presence gives viewers and fans a new way to interact with the brand and something new to fawn over. For The Limited, this decision breathes new life into their women’s clothing line. The “Scandal Collection” offers the clothing brand access to a new generation of female shopper—particularly within the millennial demographic, one of Scandal’s key demographics. In fact, the partnership was built off of company market research that showed The Limited’s key audience was watching Scandal and star Kerry Washington for personal style inspiration.

It goes without saying that this partnership will give faithful fans (and fanatics) an opportunity to finally realize their dreams of looking just like Olivia Pope and feeling like a “gladiator in a suit.”



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