Friday, May 16, 2008

when self-promotion rubs me the wrong way

I don't know why, but I hate it when designers or stores market their products with a "as seen on celebrity x" flyer or newsletter. I feel like it's the poor-man's marketing route, with a giant scream of buy-me-'cause-so-and-so-has-it-too. I have no probs if a celebrity was paid to actually endorse it legitimately, or on the other hand, if the celeb was walking around wearing/carrying items and the paparazzi catch it for the tabloids. (It's no secret that celebs get freebies all the time, so yes, that's also a sly way to endorse something, but I would imagine they'd have to like it somewhat to want to be photographed in/with it, correct? I digress...) That's fine with me, but it's when the celebs' paparazzi photo is used by the designer to endorse said product, then that really irritates me.

For instance, in the latest Anya Hindmarch newsletter I received, they attempted to sell me on the lovely attributes of their Cooper bag because Angelina Jolie was seen cavorting with it in high-style. You won't see this on their website, it's only an enticer by way of a "what's-in-style" newsletter, like they're sharing fashion advice, but it's super lame-o to me.

First of all, something is only cool if everyone's buzzing about it. Anya Hindmarch shouldn't feel compelled to tell us that Angelina was seen carrying their cool bag. It's not cool if you're telling us it's cool. That's the job of fashion mags, bloggers, etc. Something that characterizes this bag as having an It-factor is removed when it's being buzzed about by its own creator.

Secondly, if Angelina is the only celeb carrying this bag, then maybe it's not so cool? Was she the only A-list celeb to like it? Angie is hardly renowned for committing to any designer (I would definitely define her as classic, but one-designer-devotee she is not), so you see her carrying it a couple of times today, the next time she's carrying a brand new purse by someone else. What does that say about the real attractiveness of the product?

Lastly, the bag is not all that. It's a modified version of a standard hobo, with some metallic leather detailing. Big freakin' kahooey.

Am I short-sighted, or does this kind of marketing really pull at your wallet-strings? Do you jump at the chance to own something because a celebrity is seen with it? Even if that's the case, isn't it irritating if the designer themselves are promoting the products via this channel? Thoughts?

Anya Hindmarch Cooper bag - Smooth Calf in Cream - £675.00

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