It's been another weird week in retail. Van Heusen launched a campaign with the UFC, Balenciaga got sued by a souvenir shop and Walmart ceded its toy manufacturing to a 6-year-old.
This, and more, in this week's retail therapy.
Van Heusen squares off with the UFC
Whoever said the clothes make the man clearly never considered the possibilities of modern marketing, because now Van Heusen (read as: maker of fine business suits) is partnering with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Now, it might seem like an unrealistic alliance — that is, the UFC and anything positive — but Van Heusen's campaign is determined to strike down any misconceptions about how well men who get paid to fight for a living can fight while also getting paid to wear a suit. After watching the well-crafted TV spot, reported on by Bloomberg, the answer is a resounding: "very well!"
While Van Heusen was apparently using the ad to tout its "flex collar" and "flex pant" to working men — not trying to attract women by showing two brawny men in tight-fitting clothes fight for dominance — we've still got several questions about a campaign that features suits, fighting and no James Bond: Namely, why do they need to fight? Are office fights a growing trend? Will customers buying these suits have to fight TJ Dillashaw to obtain one? Is UFC the new James Bond?
Still, we have to praise the creativity of a campaign that has almost nothing to do with the product for sale — unlike, say, the time Casper was giving away a free pool float mattress with every purchase of a … mattress.
"I said I wanted a 50% acquisition of the company or nothiiiing! GRAAHH!"— Sopherion (@Sopherion) July 31, 2018
*Jumps across the table with a flying sidekick*
Souvenir shop sues Balenciaga over tacky NYC bag
We all know what it feels like to get burned — especially by that fickle group, consumers. But the success of Supreme's brick and Moschino's My Little Pony line is just salt in the wound for many retailers trying their best to sell enough $15 T-shirts.
That long-standing tension came to a head this week when, in a hilarious turn of events, Balenciaga was sued by a New York souvenir company for ripping off its trash design and managing to sell the same product for $1,950. As Fashionista reports, the gist of the argument is that the designer label ripped off the bright pink, city skyline aesthetic of City Merchandise's own tote bag — a problem which is no doubt coming to light in part because Balenciaga managed to sell it.
The more important question at hand — why would anyone purchase either of these products — is being largely ignored, both because it's never mattered in the past and because if Twitter is good at anything it's laughing at the misfortune of others (See: Twitter shamelessly roasts Ivanka Trump for shutting down her brand).
Left: A souvenir NYC tote bag in the JFK airport gift shop. Right: The Balenciaga version that’s retailing for $1950 right now. Demna, you sly dog! pic.twitter.com/dWG2Q3R3pP— Alyssa Vingan Klein (@alyssavingan) February 25, 2018
Walmart puts toy line in 6-year-old's hands
They say the children are our future, and nowhere is that more apparent than consumerism. Seemingly in doubt as to how to breathe new life into their brands, retailers are now trying to market children's ideas.
In a move that seems to say "this is the best we could come up with" and "we're sorry" at the same time, Walmart is stocking a toy line created by a 6-year-old YouTube star, because nothing says "he's just like you, kids!" more than childhood fame. The line will be called "Ryan's World," according to Reuters, and is only slightly less disconcerting than the other problematic announcement this week, which is that the Walmart yodeler has released his first song.
It seems just three short months ago that the young Mason Ramsey was being interviewed on Ellen and having concerts thrown for him by Walmart, but it seems he's outgrown his humble beginnings and released his first original song at the mature age of 11. But while it is undoubtedly country, we're sad to say that there is no actual yodeling. That must have gone out the door at the same time as Ramsey's association with the aisles of Walmart.
Walmart's not the only retail giant banking on the next generation, though — and between us, Jeff Bezos' kids seem to have more ingenuity.
Ice lovers pay $1,500 to chill
Every once in a while a ridiculously overpriced product is unearthed and observers must attempt to understand why it costs so much money. In that spirit we bring you "Silver Plated Lidded Ice Bucket."
Thanks to Bloomberg's exposé on the ice bucket market, we discovered that there is, in fact, a $1,450 ice bucket with little to recommend it other than that it was inspired by "Champagne bubbles." The fact that commonplace bubbles were not worthy of the same inspiration hints at the target audience.
Despite our countless experiences with overpriced products selling out, we only barely managed to contain an involuntary flinch upon finding the words "Unavailable Product" listed below the price — almost as if so many people had bought this $1,500 ice bucket that there were no more left for the rising demand.
If, like us, you feel an unseasonable chill spreading over you as you read this, we recommend Universal Standard's AC Survival Kit.