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Kai Ryssdal: OK, so I didn’t know — until I started getting ready for the broadcast today — that should you so desire, you can now get lip gloss, hand bags and yoga mats, all themed around the new Julia Roberts movie that opens today. “Eat Pray Love” is the story about one woman’s quest to de-clutter her life. A quest that’s turned into a merchandising bonanza.
Marketplace’s Stacey Vanek-Smith reports.
Julia Roberts, as Elizabeth Gilbert in “Eat Pray Love:” I used to have this appetite for my life and it is just gone. I want to go some place where I can marvel at something.
Like the “Eat Pray Love” laptop from Sony, or the “Eat Pray Love” prayer beads from Cost Plus, or the Four Seasons “Eat Pray Travel” travel package, or the 400 “Eat Pray Love” products available on the HSN shopping channel.
Bill Brand: It was a real significant opportunity to be involved in a movie that we know that our female audience is going to be very interested in.
That’s HSN marketing executive Bill Brand. The network just wrapped up a three-day “Eat Pray Love”-a-aplooza.
Brand: Lancome created an “Eat Pray Love” collection exclusively for us. They loved Ferrara’s cannolis. On the jewelry front, this charm with an “Eat” and a “Pray” and a “Love” on it was also a very popular item.
Mary Lou Quinlan: It’s so the Oprah crowd, oh my gosh.
Mary Lou Quinlan is the CEO of marketing firm Just Ask a Woman. She also lives in the same town as “Eat Pray Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert.
Quinlan: I see the face of the women. They come to her as if it’s Mecca, and affectionately around here, they’re called Lizbians.
Quinlan says “Eat Pray Love” has tapped in to many desires that women have — the desire for self-exploration, for love, for carbs. But “Consumed” author Andrew Bennett says it isn’t just a girl thing.
Andrew Bennett: You look at the growth of things like organic or hybrid. What we see is a shift towards much more mindful consumption, away from mindless consumption.
Bennett says “Eat Pray Love” taps into something the whole culture has been moving towards.
Bennett: It talks about finding your inner self and spirituality and a return to simplicity and enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
Like drinking “Eat Pray Love” tea, out of an “Eat Pray Love” cup, in your “Eat Pray Love” tunic, on your “Eat Pray Love” Malay queen bed. What could be simpler?
I’m Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.
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