The film based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling 2006 memoir Eat Pray Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia has taken product promotion beyond the screen.
Julia Roberts in the star role is engaged in an ongoing search for all things significant to food, religion and love. This soul-search theme has been carried by Sony Pictures into real life with the offer to women to live life passionately with the purchase of the tastes, smells and luxuries that Roberts enjoys onscreen through her travels.
Merchandise mirroring items from the film include "I Deserve Something Beautiful" lotus petal necklace ($72), the "Only True Love Remains" organic tea ($45) and the official prayer beads ($4.99).
While we have all grown used to children’s movies offering merchandise associated with the theme and characters, women are now good targets as this film demonstrates. A weekend extravaganza of shopping is on offer by the shopping network HSN and a travel agency is offering a 21-day trip to Love locations.
Cost Plus World Market stores have capitalised on the exotic locations with prominent special shopping sections which link into the specific countries Roberts travels to. Sony even receives a percentage of the sales for 11 items it licensed, like the tunic Roberts wore onscreen in India or a day bed like the one she reclined on in Bali.
"It brings the experience home. You can work your way through Eat, Pray and Love right through the stores," said said Liz Allen senior vice president of marketing at World Market stores.