News & Views

How to Knock Off a Bag

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our customisable research platform featuring the world’s most creative, ingenious and effective brand-funded ideas

Luxury leather goods company releases tongue-in-cheek product demo

Fine leather goods brand Saddleback Leather has released an online video entitled How to Knock Off a Bag. Confused? Don’t be. The company turned to YouTube to showcase exactly how much care and attention goes into crafting an authentic product, while making a not-so-subtle dig at producers of cheap counterfeits.

The 12-minute film (above) features Dave Munson, the company’s president, detailing precisely how to rip off one of its most popular products, the Saddleback Leather Briefcase.

With a sarcastic lilt, Munson makes cracks at counterfeiters' poor quality materials, questionable labour practices and economical shortcuts, all the while providing a thorough product demonstration of his best-selling product.

The tongue-in-cheek about section of the YouTube video promises knock-off tips for wannabe counterfeiters: ‘Are you looking for a shortcut to success? Watch this “How To” video and learn all of the shortcuts and tricks others already use to bypass quality. And you too can make loads of money knocking off our Saddleback Leather Briefcases. Riches untold!!!’

The video has been viewed more than 152,000 views on YouTube.

Contagious Insight

The tone of this video is spot on: playful, but also educational and poignant. The counter-intuitive notion of a luxury goods retailer instructing people on producing a fake, reminds us Patagonia’s infamous 2011 ad in The New York Times with the headline ‘Don’t buy this jacket.’ Both brands have used surprise tactics to raise awareness about manufacturing processes.

In the Saddleback video Munson pulls off his cutting remarks with grace and humour, neatly drawing attention to a very real problem for producers of high quality goods that are trying to protect their intellectual property.The counterfeit goods market is estimated to have a global impact of $650bn annually, so by calling out the dubious practices of these players, Munson successfully capitalises on Saddleback’s upstanding production processes.

The video taps into the recent trend of companies becoming more transparent about their production methods, and reminded us of initiatives such as Nike’s MAKING app, which helps designers to choose sustainable materials. With company ethics and transparency now a higher priority for consumers than ever, as research by Cohn & Wolfe confirms, brands only stand to gain by being candid with their fans.

Finally, the video is not only compelling branded content, it also serves as an excellent product demo that plays right up to the old adage ‘You get what you pay for.’ Not only does the film justify the high price of a Saddleback original, but explains exactly how and why the product is superior to cheaper alternatives, appealing to those consumers wanting to invest in something that is built to last.

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O. Contagious I/O is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious I/O contact