It's been another weird week in retail. Balenciaga is selling a miniature lanyard for more than your Apple AirPods, Ikea turned the royal wedding into an advertising campaign fit for the queen, and Lean Cuisine managed to isolate the exact demographic it was trying to reach.
This, and more, in this week's retail therapy.
The key to Balenciaga's heart isn't free — it's $350
The overpriced products trend has cooled down slightly since the days of Tiffany's $9,000 ball of yarn, but it's never too far away when Balenciaga is out there making $200 scrunchies and $800 tennis shoes.
This time, the luxury brand churned out a $350 keyring that, predictably, doubles as an excuse for Balenciaga to write its own name on merchandise over and over again, the Sun reports. The only quality that moves the needle in terms of justifying the exorbitant price tag is the "lambskin" descriptor, but "lobster clasp fastening" does much to offset even that small victory.
The miniature lanyard is probably the perfect gift for that one fashion-conscious tourist we all know, and has the added benefit of looking like the designer got bored in detention and carved their lines into leather for an extra challenge ("I will not promote and sell overpriced products. I will not promote and sell overpriced products").
At the very least, this product's existence confirms one thing: Brand name value is clearly not dead, no matter what Brandless and its $3 peanut butter has to say about it.
mutuals if you guys band together and each give me a dollar i can purchase this balenciaga lanyard— julie (@thencts) April 29, 2018
ofc taeyong was casually wearing a balenciaga lanyard king of wearing my tuition money as an accessory— lauren (@chwehansolo) May 1, 2018
Ikea fills Prince Harry's void with reasonably-priced furniture
Last week may have burned images of the Prince Harry beard-covered swimsuit into our retinas, but at least one person had a good time taking advantage of all the royal wedding hype, and that was Ikea.
We've become increasingly convinced that Ikea has the only retail marketing department that knows how to have fun, and the Swedish retailer confirmed that this week with a royal wedding ad that at once called attention to how single its customers are and also to how badly they need Ikea furniture to fill the void.
First reported by AdAge, the retailer posted a picture of its "Harry" chair on social media the day of the wedding, stating: "Don't worry, HARRY is still available." The playful posts were well-accepted by a light-hearted community of followers — only slightly tarnished by the tears of young hopefuls watching their dreams fall apart on live television.
But hey, Ikea can capitalize on any live event it wants, no matter how heartbreaking. All is fair in love and advertising.
Lean Cuisine iced out for bad campaign
The success of Ikea's royal wedding ads necessitates a miss, if only to keep the fragile balance of the advertising world in place.
Lean Cuisine was the victim of the unpredictable tide that is consumer sentiment this week as the frozen food brand released a video campaign detailing what "having it all" means to different women. The only problem? They managed to piss off a lot of women in the process.
Despite what we're sure was a well-meaning video, Twitter users slammed the brand for insisting women needed to have it all when the nature of Lean Cuisine is to encourage women to eat diet meals and live up to oft-lamented beauty standards. Can't imagine why that would be frustrating.
Supporting women by encouraging diet culture, emphasizing adherence to a bs beauty standard, and a corporate message of "you're worthless unless you're thin?" Yeah, no thanks. Having #ItAll starts with not buying into that garbage and not buying yours.— Fred McDonald ????️???? (@awfulhorrid) May 24, 2018
Twitter is dragging lean cuisine in this #itall hashtag. Gotta love a plot twist— Nurse Tiffany (@NurseTiffany2) May 24, 2018
Innovative man releases world's newest product: jeans
In addition to bad marketing campaigns, this week was also rife with bad consumer product ideas that will probably still somehow take off. Among them, and we've been assured this is a novel concept: jeans.
That's right. According to Fortune, designer Joe Doucet is releasing a pair of jeans unlike any other. Because unlike the discount versions you picked up at Target, these jeans are specifically made to address the trials of "21st century life," which according to the website means: microfiber pockets to keep your smartphone clean, a credit card pocket that blocks RFID because wallets are so last century, and a reflection strip for that one time a week you actually ride your bike home.
If that doesn't sound privileged enough, Nike is still riding high from last week's treadmill patent and released another one that would probably make work out towels obsolete, per Digital Trends. As we understand it, Nike's aim here is to create athletic clothes with towel-like "wipe zones" embedded in them, because nothing says "I'm getting a good work out" quite like using towel-enhanced clothing to soak up your back sweat.